An Army veteran who lost his leg in a blast in Iraq more than 10 years ago will become the first person to receive a permanent prosthetic.
Army Staff Sgt. Jace Badia has undergone 84 surgeries, but with his 85th surgery, which was performed by a Denver doctor last week, he made medical history. Badia received metal implants which, if all goes as plans, will eventually be used to attach a permanent artificial leg. Badia, along with Gary Molock who was left a double amputee after a truck accident, is the first person to undergo a surgery of this kind.
A similar surgery was performed by the same team in 2005 on a Siberian Husky named Triumph. While the dog’s legs were eventually removed due to infection, the team believes they have solved that problem with a new design.
In the past, metal rods have been used for implants, but they would often be rejected by the body, leading to infection. However, Hugate explained that the metal rod used in Badia’s surgery is a porous metal, which will allow the skin and other soft tissue to actually grow into it.
Hugate said Badia’s surgery “went off without a hitch.” Now, they must wait for the wounds to heal before attaching the permanent prosthetic.
Badia said he has a lot of faith in the medical team, and more than anything, he just wants to be able to play with his kids.