On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Casting of Eric Leg

Today Eric has started the process to get his new leg!!  They put him in a cast from his hip down to the end of his leg.  They even made him wear these really cute Capri's.  :)    Once they casted his whole leg, they got the saw and scissors out and cut it off.  Scott showed the cast to us and said they will now make a mold of his leg and start to build his socket and leg.  He will have a hydraulic knee and his foot will be equipped with springs....  It was pretty fascinating what features his new leg will have and it will be interesting to see everything come together.  The goal is to have him on his leg in 3 weeks, but his knee/leg may need an additional week to heal.. 
A lot of people have asked me about his amputation, so to try to explain the best I can... He had a "through knee" amputation.  Which means that the whole bone (tibia and fibula) was taken.  They left the femur, patella and knee cap alone. 

The advantages to do that is with the femur being whole, it will be able to take more pressure/jolts to the bone.  He can kneel on the end of his "nub" as he calls his leg.  If they took his leg above the knee, they would have to reattach the muscles and tendons back on to the bone and he would not be able to kneel on the end of the blunt nub.  So physically if the leg works out for him, this will be the best possible scenario for Eric.  His prosthetic knee will actually be an inch lower than his right knee.  But that is no big deal.
I hope this all makes sense... But I am sure that as time goes and we learn more, we will pass it on to you!  Lucky you!  :)  There was a story about a young boy with Osteosarcoma that had his leg taken 5 days after Eric.  They reattached his foot to his femur, so now his heel is his knee and his foot will help to hold his prosthetic on.  We had heard of this procedure, and Dr Randal spoke of it, but Eric was not a candidate for this procedure, because of the nerve damage, which translate to damage to his ankle.  We are happy with how he is healing and most of all feeling.  He is doing so well!!  Not to mention pretty excited about his new leg!

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