Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 37-year-old Vietnamese migrant worker whose left knee was destroyed in a workplace explosion in Taiwan last year underwent groundbreaking surgery during which his amputated foot was reattached backwards to replace his knee joint to allow him to wear a prosthetic leg. And now he has received an improved prosthetic that was made with three-dimensional printing technology.

The man, who arrived in Taiwan seven years ago, was severely injured during a gas explosion at his workplace in March last year. His left knee was crushed, but fortunately his foot was intact, the United Daily News reported.

The worker was quickly sent to Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, where he underwent a procedure known as rotationplasty, where surgeons reattached his foot to the bottom of his thigh. The surgical fee was waived given his low socioeconomic status.

The surgery provided the patient with a functioning knee joint again, and he was able to walk using a prosthetic leg and crutches.

On August 16, the man was invited by the hospital to receive an upgraded replacement for his artificial leg, a 3D-printed prosthetic, worth an estimated NT$300,000 (US$9,760), for free, the Central News Agency reported.

The lighter and better-fitting prosthetic leg was designed to help him walk more comfortably.