I wonder why this hasn’t been done with humans?

Or maybe it has. I’m always several generations behind on prosthetic tech.

Okay; I saw this picture at Wendy McElroy’s place

I’ve seen lots of strap-on dog prosthetics, but this one looked like an implant. Which, as you can imagine, caught my eye.

So I went looking, and quickly found an article about that dog but it was just one of those “20 animals that …” listicles. Didn’t tell me anything about the actual device. After probably wrecking two days’ worth of download ration I did finally find what I was looking for…

Forelimb Amputation Prosthesis (PerFiTS)


Fitzpatrick Referrals has spent years pioneering the technology used in the design and manufacture of the the PerFiTS (Percutaneous Fixation To Skeleton) amputation endoprosthesis. The implant, although small, is packed full of ground breaking technology. Special coatings on the implant allow the patients bone to incorporate into the metal of the implant meaning the implant because a physical part of the patients skeleton. Further specialist coatings at the interface where the implant passes through the skin allow the skin cells to incorporate into the metal ensuring a robust, bacteria proof, seal forms between the skin and the implant. The portion of the implant that passes through the skin allows an exoprosthesis, or foot, to be attached to the endoprosthesis.

And while it’s entirely possible that I’m just way behind the times, I’ve never heard of anything like this being tried on humans. Why not? Too much weight? Too much government? I’d love to know.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to I wonder why this hasn’t been done with humans?

  1. nonoyo bizness says:

    Approved by the fda for humans in limited circumstances 2 years ago. Can be obtained in some European countries if you have a serious pile of cash laying around.

  2. B says:

    Something to do with the way the skin cells bond to the prothesis. I understand that many are prone to infection.

    has been tried.

  3. Paul Joat says:

    I’ve seen it for cats, the article said something about cat skin being different than human and it would make a better seal with the metal.
    I’d guess that too much government is a large part of the issue.

  4. bmq215 says:

    Having done a bit of animal surgery in my time I can attest to the fact that our immune systems are pretty puny compared to most animals. In fact, when I was doing rodent neurosurgery the general rule was NOT to administer antibiotics afterwards as survival was actually higher without them! Try that on a human…

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s being trialed in humans, but the review process involved (and the downside risk to the hospital/surgeon/prosthesis company when someone dies of infection, failed graft, etc) is much nastier than for veterinary medicine.

  6. Will says:

    The first patient was a double amputee housecat, IIRC. Saw a video program a few years ago about the process. It was pretty amazing to see a metal stud projecting out of the end of the two rear legs. The doc was hopeful that it would work on humans. I was thinking that the engineering would be a bit more involved for a much more massive human. Now, it appears the skin boundary is the current bugaboo. Bummer. I’m thinking that by the time they get the bugs worked out of this tech, we’ll have tissue regeneration figured out. (that’s how things go in the world of engineering)

To the stake with the heretic!