There are some procedures that are so complex and unusual that they really bring home just how much surgery has progressed. Let’s discuss one such procedure.
Rotationplasty: Turning an ankle into a knee
Rotationplasty is an extraordinary form of reconstructive surgery that enables the ankle to be used as a knee joint. The procedure involves the surgical removal of the bottom of the femur, the knee, and the upper tibia. The lower part of the leg is then rotated 180 degrees and attached to the thigh.
Put simply, the foot is attached to the knee backward. Once prosthesis is fitted, the ankle of the foot functions as a knee.
Rotationplasty is most commonly performed in children who have malignant bone tumors - such as osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma - near the knee that have not responded to other treatments. The main aim of rotationplasty is to fully remove the tumor, but in a way that allows a child to have an active lifestyle, which would not be possible with complete amputation.
One amazing example of the procedure's success involves 14-year-old Gabi Shull from Missouri. At the age of 9, Gabi was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the knee. The tumor was inoperable, and after 12 weeks of chemotherapy, Gabi and her parents decided on rotationplasty as the best treatment option. Just 1 year after the procedure, Gabi was able to walk again, and 2 years on, she is a competitive dancer. "The surgery has allowed me to do so much more than I expected and I would never go back and change it," she told The Daily Mail.
Source: Medical news today