Doctors Reattach Leg Backwards On Purpose-Reconstructive Surgery for Cancer

May 20, 2011
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The procedure is for Malignant lesions of the distal femur as a reconstructive imagetechnique.  The patient

The procedure is for Malignant lesions of the distal femur as a reconstructive imagetechnique.  The patient had a few options here besides this surgery to choose from and one was a complete amputation below the knee, which would be at the bottom of anyone’s list I would think and he could have had a bone from a deceased body or a rod put in place and he chose the surgery with the leg on backwards.

The video from the Mayo Clinic shows how this works and how a prosthetic device is used later but the benefits of having a longer leg for the device of course is a lot more support.  I had never seen this procedure and it’s fascinating to see how it works and is certainly better than losing the entire leg below the knee.  BD

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Van Nes Rotationplasty,

It’s called a Van Nes Rotationplasty, and it preserved a rare cancer patient’s ability to play baseball.

After 12-year-old Dugan Smith was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – and a tumor on his thighbone – he had the option of having the diseased bone replaced with a cadaver bone or a manmade rod. Or it could be amputated altogether.

But instead, the doctors from Ohio State University Medical Center did the following:

  1. Cut off the middle part of the leg (including the knee and most of the thigh).
  2. Remove the tumor from the femur (thighbone).
  3. With the nerves still connected, turn the bottom part of the leg around 180 degrees.
  4. Reconnect the blood vessels.
  5. Then sew the lower half of the leg onto his hip – again, backwards – making the calf act as the thigh and the ankle act as his knee (pictured). The foot faces, well, backwards.

Within two hours, he could move his foot and toes – which slid into a partial prosthetic leg and foot to compensate for the missing lower half of the right leg.

Doctors reattach a pitcher’s leg backwards, on purpose | SmartPlanet