This is not how 15-year-old Olivia Warhop would prefer to spend her time.
She'd much rather be in a pool, or on a soccer field.
A recent cancer diagnosis sidelined this active teen.
Doctors found a tumor on Olivia's tibia bone.
In fact, they had to take out 18-centimeters of her bone -- about the length of a pencil!
Then, doctors told her they would replace it with a donor bone.
Doctor Michael Joyce says bones can be donated and transplanted from deceased patients -- just like organs.
First, doctors had to measure the size of Olivia's bone. They then contacted bone and tissue banks to find a suitable match.
The donated bone was stripped, cleaned and processed. Surgeons implanted the new "dead" bone against the existing "living" bone.
The patient's own bone will grow into and begin to replace the transplanted bone.
Because the transplanted bones are dead and frozen, patients have a much lower chance of rejecting them.
Doctor Joyce says 85-percent of the time, they have a good outcome.
In an x-ray, you can see olivia's new bone.
And like any true athlete, she's happy to show off her battle scar -- 135 stitches later.
More information on next page.
BACKGROUND: Bone cancer, also known as bone tumors, is a form of cancer caused by an abnormal growth in the bone’s cells. These tumors can be benign or malignant and are commonly found to affect children and adolescents. Bone tumors often arise in areas of the bone that experience rapid growth. An estimated 2,650 people were diagnosed with bone cancer in 2010, and 1,460 sufferers died. Although the reasons for developing bone cancer are unknown, some possible causes include genetic mutations, radiation, and trauma.
SYMPTOMS: It is vital to recognize the symptoms of bone cancer, especially if there has been some sort of trauma or injury to the bones. Some signs of a potential cancerous growth include:
Bone fractures, even from a slight injury
Pain in the bones that might worsen at night
Occasionally, a mass and swelling that you can feel at the tumor site
Note: Some benign tumors have no symptoms.
DONOR BONE: Patients suffering from bone cancer have options when considering their preferred form of treatment. One option that is proving to be extremely effective is using donor bone (bone donated from cadavers). The dead bone is implanted into the patient’s body against their living bones. Over time, the framework provided by the dead bone enables the living bone to grow; the bones heal together.
ADVANTAGES: When compared to grafting a living bone from within the patient’s body, there are some advantages to using a donor bone.
More economical: Donor bones are less expensive than grafting a living bone from the patient. Generally, bones used to graft are taken from the hip. Although the fusion rate of using the patient’s living bone is slightly better, surgical expenses are costly.
Less time consuming: The patient saves time by forgoing an additional surgery.
Less pain and fewer complications: The risk of having an infection, hematomas, and fractures are not as significant when using a donor bone. Also, there is less pain since there is only one surgery site. (SOURCE: www.back.com/faq.html)
POTENTIAL RISKS: As with most surgical procedures, there are potential risks to be considered. Since the donor bone is from a cadaver, it does not contain any living cells; this incompatibility could pose re-absorption problems, and the bone could be rejected. Although all donated bones are carefully treated, there is still a small chance of disease transmission. Also, it also may take longer for the donated bone to achieve a solid fusion as compared to a living bone from the patient. (SOURCE: www.back.com/faq.html)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Monina Wagner, Media Relations Manager
(Information provided by Ivanhoe)
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