Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in my right Femur bone. Although I have been very fortunate to have remained cancer free, the loss of 21cm of my femur had plagued me with a series of series of limb salvage attempts that continued over the course of six years. During this time, my leg was virtually unusable and I was experiencing chronic pain. It was determined that a low-grade infection was causing the bone to fail to mend with the donor bone that was placed to fill the void where the shaft of my femur once existed. After a number of consults with other physicians who recommended a procedure called a rotationplasty which is a partial amputation, or a total metal femur which has a highly reduced level of function, it was recommended I consult Dr. Rozbruch at HSS about limb lengthening. utilizing an Ilizarov external fixator, Dr. Rozbruch was able to grow my own healthy bone to fill the gap where the femur bone was missing. This left me with my own, healthy, natural bone with 100% recovery to the condition prior to being diagnosed with Cancer.
I have always led an active lifestyle with running, cycling, hiking, skiing, waterskiing, you name it. After a number of years of having no idea of the long-term condition that i am going to have to come to terms with in my leg, I am ecstatic to have resumed the life i once lived before this happened and I have to thank Dr. Rozbruch and his team for all the effort they put in. To say that this limb lengthening process is without complications or surprises along the way would be a bit misleading. In spite of this, Dr. Rozbruch handled every minor issue that came up with full confidence as it were simple routine. Even after bone defect was healed, Dr. Rozbruch was not satisfied with the outcome as the affected leg was still 3cm shorter than the "good" leg. Using a novel new internal fixator, he was able to lengthen the tibia (lower) bone of my leg by 3cm and I now have two fully-functional legs that are the same size. While undergoing these treatments, Sean Rose in the HSS physical therapy department was instrumental in helping me regain strength and balance that were lacking from 8 years irregular use.
Ever since completing my treatment with Dr. Rozbruch, I have to say that I have been leading a more active lifestyle than I had prior to cancer. I try to get at least 60 miles per week of cycling into my schedule, but the arrival of our new baby 11 months ago is a happy distraction from this goal. I have been skiing, waterskiing, hiking, running, whatever i can do to live life to the fullest. I even took up flying and am now a holder of a private pilot certificate and none of these things I have mentioned would have been possible without everything that has been done for me at HSS.