Meet Oscar, a bionic cat who lost his hind feet in a freak accident four years ago. Thanks to a team of optimistic veterinarians, he was fitted with prosthetic feet. One problem, the estimated cost for his operations total $77,000USD+. Continue reading for a video and more information.
In October 2009, at the age of two and a half years, Oscar had both the paws of his hind legs severed by a combine harvester while in a maize field near his home in Jersey. The legs were cut between the ankle and the foot. Although the operation carried out by Noel Fitzpatrick was a world first, it mimics a natural process, being similar to the way deer grow antler bones, in the manner that the implants grow through the skin.
The implants were both custom-made to fit into holes drilled into Oscar’s ankle bones. They are known as intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (ITAPs) and were developed by the head of University College London’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Gordon Blunn and colleagues. They have a honeycomb structure which enables skin to bond with the implant to prevent infection. The implants are placed into the drilled holes which then allow for a “sock” to be fitted over them.