The procedure is for Malignant lesions of the distal femur as a reconstructive technique. 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
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:
- Cut off the middle part of the leg (including the knee and most of the thigh).
- Remove the tumor from the femur (thighbone).
- With the nerves still connected, turn the bottom part of the leg around 180 degrees.
- Reconnect the blood vessels.
- 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.