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Surgery has come by leaps and bounds in recent decades and it is still evolving and improving.

An example of surgical innovation is rotationplasty, which is a surgery for bone cancer near the knee. Previously, a typical above-the-knee amputation which removed the cancerous tissue and bone would have been performed. With this, a prosthesis would be used in place of the lower leg, these prostheses can limit movement and can be ill-fitting. Now, there is a new procedure – a rotationplasty. This involves removing the cancerous portion surrounding the knee and reattaching the lower leg at the thigh, rotating at 180 degrees. This means the ankle joint functions as the new knee joint. This option allows more functionality and movement in the limb.

This may seem like something out of science fiction, but it gives the individual the best chance at having normal mobility. The foot now points backward, and the ankle is the knee joint. A prosthesis can be worn on the foot, allowing more functionality than a traditional above-the-knee amputation.

Those with bone cancer – osteosarcoma, congenital leg deformities, or severe knee infections due to previous prostheses may be eligible for a rotationplasty.

It is not a common procedure just now but perhaps in the future, it’ll gain more popularity.


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