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Tag: titanium

Cassidy adjusting well to “bionic” leg

Cassidy, the three-legged dog we first told you about last month, seems to be getting around well on his new prosthetic leg, if the footage in this CBS report is any indication.

Cassidy was missing one of his hind legs when he was adopted from a New York City shelter in 2005 by Steven and Susan Posovsky.

Veterinary Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine outfitted Cassidy, a German shepherd mix, with his new titanium leg in July — after much trial and error.

“We worked for about a year first to try to design an external brace that was fairly sophisticated, but did not work very well,” Marcellin-Little told CBS .

“There were two removable legs were made for him. Slip-on legs, which he was able to just kick off,” Steven Posovsky said. “At that point, they took out some computer diagrams and said let’s look into this possibility of an osteo-integrated leg.”

Cassidy’s artificial leg is a permanent prosthetic. A titanium rod was implanted into Cassidy’s lower leg bone. Over several months, they fused together. A custom designed carbon fiber foot with a rubber tread for traction screws right on to the implant.

“Now he walks for two, three hours and not a hint of fatigue,” Steven Posovsky said. “Watching him run on the beach is a very emotional thing for me personally. But a lot of tears of joy.”

With titanium leg, Cassidy may run again

A year ago, it was a struggle just to keep up on family walk. Now, with help from doctors at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and some state of the art technology, Cassidy has the ability to run again.

Since getting an implanted prosthesis in his leg in July, 6-year-old Cassidy has been back to the vet school several times to make sure the implant was fusing with the bone, making it stable enough to support what would eventually become Cassidy’s right hind leg. On Tuesday, doctors fitted Cassidy with a titanium leg complete with a running foot that will replace a temporary peg leg Cassidy has been wearing.

Steve Posovsky, Cassidy’s owner, said the dog’s artificial leg has gotten a lot of attention. “You can’t even walk down the street,” he said. “People take pictures of him, you get stopped constantly … ‘What is this, how did it happen? I’ve never seen it before. Can I take a picture with him?’ It’s non-stop.”

The new titanium prosthesis and its padded “foot” are designed to be more lifelike than typical artificial limbs, allowing Cassidy’s leg to bend naturally. A carbon fuse inside the prosthesis allows for rotation of the leg and guards against undue stress on the implant.

Doctors say the technology is moving in the right direction for eventual use in humans.