A jockey has had what doctors are calling a miraculous recovery thanks to a new treatment to regrow a finger that his horse bit off as he fed the animal, according a report in the Daily Mail.
Paul Halpern, 33, went to the Delray Beach, Florida, office of Eugenio Rodriguez, M.D., with a third of his right index finger in a plastic bag. Dr. Rodriguez took the opportunity to test out a new procedure to heal it without surgery.
According to the Daily Mail, he used material from a pig bladder to make a mold for the severed portion of Halpern's finger then attached it to the stump that remained. The procedure, known as an implantation of a xenograph, stimulates the body to attract stem cells that then start producing the tissue that is missing.
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Over time, Halpern's finger's cells, bone, tissues, and nail regrew into the mold.
Halpern, from New Jersey, said he had been feeding his horse when he reached too far into the animal's mouth, costing him the top third of his index finger.
"One of the guys that worked with me reached his hand in the horse’s mouth, took the fingertip out, and I jumped in the car, grabbed the rest of my finger wondering what we should do," he told CBS Miami.
After visiting a hospital emergency room, where medics reportedly said there was no way to reattach the finger, Halpern went to the Deerfield Beach Outpatient Surgical Center and eventually had Dr. Rodriguez perform the procedure.