14-year-old Jacob Bredenhof was diagnosed with osteosarcoma after noticing a hard lump forming in his thigh and experiencing leg pain.
Scans discovered his femur bone was riddled with a cancerous tumor and that it was in danger of breaking if he put pressure on it.
In a 9-hour procedure called rotationplasty, surgeons removed a portion of his leg.
The procedure is often used when treating malignant bone tumors near a child’s knee. The preserved lower leg is rotated and attached to the thigh bone, using the ankle as the knee joint, according to the Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Physical therapy also helps the patient learn how to use the foot and ankle as the knee, giving more mobility than a full amputation.
The teen is being fitted for his prosthetic as he continues with chemotherapy.
His mother, Tracey Bredenhof, told Caters News: “The amazing part of rotationplasty is that they preserve the good part of your legs and ankle, which become your new knee and is naturally functional.
“I have no doubt that Jacob will play basketball and other sports again, his drive matches his character and he has never shown any signs of self-pity.”
She also said her son has started picking out cool socks to normalize his new appearance.
“I warned him, that people could say rude things that could hurt him and may not understand, but he told me, ‘I don’t care I want to play sports and be active,’” she told Caters News. “He explained ‘this is me and I won’t hide it, and since then has continued to exemplify that attitude.”
Tracey Bredenhof wrote on their blog Every Step – Jacob’s fight against osteosarcoma: “We have a love/hate relationship with chemo.
“It has kept Jacob alive, yet it is so harmful to him at the same time. We heard news yesterday that another boy we know with osteosarcoma who had a leg amputation a couple weeks after Jacob’s amputation, has been diagnosed as terminal. The chemo is having no effect for him and the cancer was spreading during his treatment.
“More tough news, more to process, and hits home hard with the reality of how aggressive osteosarcoma is and how difficult it is to treat.”
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