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DENVER — A local veteran has taken his first steps after a groundbreaking surgery about six weeks ago.

Jace Badia lost the lower part of his leg after he was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006.

The 32-year-old was recently fitted with a first-of-its-kind permanent prosthetic by doctors at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver.

The surgery, called osseous integration, connects the prosthetic directly to Badia’s bone.

According to the hospital, the surgery “implants a rod directly into the femur that passes through the skin and connects directly to any prosthesis through an external connection.”

While the surgery itself isn’t new, this was the first time a porous metal collar has been used for the surgery, according to the hospital.

The hospital said this bypasses months of fit, pressure and walking adjustments.

The surgery was developed and performed by Dr. Ronald Hugate, an orthopedic surgeon at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s who is also a military veteran.

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