ROME (AP) _ An Italian surgeon said Tuesday that he had carried out Europe's first ankle transplant: on a rally driver who lost mobility in his right foot following a crash.
Surgeon Sandro Giannini said the transplant was the first of its kind in Europe, using techniques already in practice in the United States.
The transplant, carried out last week, involved the implant of the entire ankle joint including ankle bone and cartilage, said Giannini, speaking by phone from Bologna in northern Italy. He said that while doctors in Europe have transplanted parts of the ankle joint in the past, they have lacked the technology and donors to make such a complete transplant.
Giannini said that experts were now studying how they could use the techniques to complete knee transplants.
The patient, Silvano Bordon, 48, a rally driver from Treviso, northern Italy, lost mobility of his foot in an accident in 1991. The donor, a 17-year-old boy, died in a car crash.
Bordon is in good condition and was set to leave hospital later on Tuesday, said Giannini.