Rotationplasty

A beauty queen has had cutting-edge surgery to allow her to use her ankle as her knee after having part of her leg amputated. Jillian Williams, 20, from Odem, Texas, was a contestant in the glamorous world of Miss Teen USA beauty pageants and a talented college volleyball player. But her world came crashing down in February last year when she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma – a rare type of bone cancer. To minimise the possibility of relapse, she opted for a ‘rotationplasty’, a procedure which required surgeons to remove the middle portion of her leg. The foot, ankle and shin were then rotated 180 degrees and reattached to her upper leg to act as her knee joint – which then slips into a prosthetic lower leg. Jillian is now hopeful for the future and dreams of being the first amputee Miss Texas and representing the American national team in Paralympic volleyball.


Rotationplasty is an alternative surgical procedure to limb sparing surgery. The procedure is most commonly advocated for young patients with bone cancer of the the distal femur.  It has been undertaken in older patients and in other skeletal locations such as the hip and shoulder.

For distal femoral tumours the procedure involves removing the section of cancerous bone. When a patient has cancer in a limb, he or she will usually undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery first. The physician may recommend limb removal when it is no longer possible to save the limb or if the patient is skeletally immature. This can be done either through amputation or through Van Ness rotationplasty. [Via: implantsforchildren.com]

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