This week, a young metro girl will get a surgery that will help her live a more active and normal life.
But the procedure is anything but routine.
At Stephenson Cancer Center News 9 met 7-year-old Isabelle Lawson who will undergo an extremely rare cancer operation.
Her doctor hasn't performed the operation and he's being assisted by another surgeon who performed one 30 years ago.
Isabelle could be a little shy until you start talking about her passion, sports.
“Basketball and football,” said Isabelle as her favorite sports.
In fact it was on the basketball court that mom noticed something was wrong.
“The week before Thanksgiving we had noticed a limp and thought she may have needed new shoes,” said Isabelle's mom, Desiree Lawson.
It turned out to be a cancerous tumor in her thigh bone.
“She hasn't given up at all,” added Desiree.
Isabelle has undergone chemotherapy since being diagnosed in January of this year, but part of her thigh bone must be removed.
Common options include replacing bones and knees, but young children present challenges.
“Most girls on average grown to until they are 14, so she has about seven years of growth left where the other leg is going to grow and this leg is not,” said Orthopedic Oncologist Dr. Jeremy White of OU physicians.
Replacing bones and knees at such a young age my result in more than a dozen more surgeries as Isabelle grows and with each procedure can come risks.
The other option is what is called “Rotationplasty.”
“The first time I saw I thought, ‘Oh my God, I'm not doing that to my child.'” said Desiree.
The leg will be cut above and below where the bone cancer is in the thigh bone.
The lower portion of the leg will then be rotated backwards and reattached.
The foot will face the opposite direction as the other and will allow a prosthetic leg to be attached.
Isabelle's ankle will function as her knee.
“The major advantage of doing this compared to our more traditional approaches is the kids that have this can be more active,” said Dr. White, who will perform the surgery on Friday.
Online you can hear and see testimonials from those who've had rotationplasty and can now sprint where a prosthesis.
“The reason we choose the surgery is because Isabelle is an athlete,” says Desiree.
Isabelle will continue chemotherapy for a couple months to better her chances that the cancer won't return.