Vincent the cat, who lacks shin bones in his back legs, has been fitted with a pair of small prosthetic legs that were created with a 3D printer (video below).
Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, a veterinary orthopedic surgeon at Iowa State University, worked with BioMedtrix to build the titanium-alloy hind legs, Tech Crunch reports.
“His bone is looking great," Bergh told the Iowa State University News Service. "The implants are stable, and he’s walking really well on them. So I couldn’t be happier with how he’s doing at the current time.
“ ... I anticipate that he’ll be jumping and doing really normal cat things very soon."
Vincent had surgeries in February 2014 and 2015, and he will have more treatments to slowly lengthen the prosthetic legs, which are embedded in his bones, to the size of an average cat's legs. The legs will be lengthened as Vincent's bone grows around the metal.
“I think this does open the door for us to be able to help other animals that have similar problems,” Bergh said. “And even what we’ve learned just through Vincent’s one case, we’ve actually refined the technique and the implants, so the next cases we do moving forward will be even more successful.”
Vincent's owner Cindy Jones has to put an antibiotic spray on Vincent's legs twice every day to prevent infections.