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Osteogenic Sarcoma of lower Left fibula - to amputate or reconstruct lower leg

dougpaff
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2008

I need to make the decision relative to amputation or reconstruction of bottom section of the left fibula. I am 66 years old and need to talk to people who have gone through either procedure.

Amputation recovery is about 3 weeks, then I would need a prosthesis -- next to zero recurrence of cancer re amputation expected.

Reconstructive surgery would replace the lower 6 inches of the fibula with an outsourced bone. This would take up to 4 months to recover - for the bone to bond to the remaining fibula. There is a 10 to 20% chance of recurrence of cancer.

I have had 3 chemo sessions , and will have 3 more (21 days apart) after surgery. These are not easy sessions for me. The cancer is local to the fibula, and has not knowingly spread any where else. This is considered stage 1.

I need understand the life style issues for either approach, and would like to talk (over the phone if possible)with anyone who has done either procedure.

Sherry64
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2008

I faced a very similar decision: Amputate or limb salvage? I went for limb salvage with Stage 3 Rhabdomyosarcoma located my just above my left knee. I went for reconstruction (with approval/consent of my doctor). The tumor erroded a large hole in my femor and was invasive to my entire knee. I had a total knee replacement and a plastic/titanium prosthetic femor and knee. The 8-9 inches of femor just above my knee was removed and replaced. That was just about a year ago. I am living life with a new normal. I have my leg but with the amount of muscle that was removed along with my femor I have some limitations-no marathons or jump ropes. I won't lie, walking for the first week after surgery will be painful. Keep your eye on the prize and it is a tolerable challenge. I had radiation before surgery and have not had to have any chemo! I went back to work 2 months after surgery (desk job). I had an extensive surgery that was more extensive that what I have noted and limits the amount of time I can stand/walk. I don't regret my decision.
Email me if you like at gsmeyers92@aol.com. Use sarcoma in the subject line. Good luck.
Sherry

louisevruiz's picture
louisevruiz
Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2003

Hello,
I am so sorry that I just saw your message. I've been preoccupied with my father who is battling liver cancer. He began home hospice care today.

I was diagnosed with fibroblastic osteogenic sarcoma (stage 2) on my left fibular in January 1999. After five months of chemotherapy I chose limb salvage. I had the confidence that my orthopaedic oncologist surgeon felt he could save my leg. I am happy I trusted him.

I lost my perineal nerve and my fibula. I do use an orthotic that is fitted below my knee to the bottom of my foot, to facilitate walking and sometimes I use a cane for stability. In August 2009, I will celebrate 10 years of remission.

I am fortunate to have been blessed. I will keep you in my prayers.

Louise

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