When faced with a diagnosis of osteosarcoma, patients almost always have to choose between different surgical options. Elise's tumor was at the top of her right tibia, so she was able to choose between limb salvage, rotationplasty, or an above-the-knee amputation. Limb salvage saves the leg by removing the affected bone and joint, and replacing it with hardware. Elise did not like that her mobility would be compromised by the surgery. She wanted to run and jump like all the other kids. Her surgeon showed us a video that explained rotationplasty and Elise decided right there that she wanted that option. On December 8, 2014, Elise underwent a rotationplasty procedure at MD Anderson which removed the tumor from her.
A rotationplasty surgery will amputate above and below the knee, leaving the main blood vessel and main nerve intact. Then the non-diseased lower limb is rotated 180-degrees and reattached to the upper limb. The ankle joint will be used as a knee.