OKC Surgeons Use Unique Implants To Save Young Cancer Patient's Leg

Tuesday, September 20th 2011, 9:25 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Like a lot of young girls, 7-year-old Sheridan Bautista loves ballet. But bone cancer in her leg made it a real possibility she would never dance again. However, surgeons at OU Medical Center came up with a unique way to keep Sheridan moving.

It takes a lot more than a few cameras in her face to make Sheridan nervous. She's dealt with stuff that a lot of adults haven't had to. Just last year doctors discovered bone cancer in her upper leg.

"Unique challenges we faced with Sheridan is that the tumor was very large and encompassed most of her femur," said Dr. Jeremy White, orthopedic surgeon at the Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center. "And the other unique challenge is that she has a lot of growth left."

The tumor had to be removed, but there weren't a whole lot of options after that. Sheridan's family desperately wanted to avoid full amputation, and one seemed right.

"Doctor White presented this one to us. I knew that this would be the best one for Sheridan," said Melinda Bautista, Sheridan's mother.

Doctors used not one, but two implants on Sheridan. One is expandable, to grow with her, and the other fuses to her existing bone and through compression, grows more bone material. They're held together with a custom-made fitting that required FDA approval.

Sheridan is still being treated for her cancer. It makes for extremely long weeks.

"On Tuesday, get our labs, and start chemo on Wednesday and finish those on Friday or Saturday, and then back home for a few days, and starting all over again on Tuesday," Melinda said.

But she's attacking it with the same perseverance she does when she almost runs over our camera guys.

In the midst of all this, Sheridan is also helping other kids with cancer. She's raised nearly $4000 for cancer research and even recently walked a portion of the CureSearch event.