First U.S. Funny Bone Transplant Saves Girl From Amputation


Girl's Bionic Funny Bone Will "Grow" As She Ages

Letson offered to do the eight hour surgery for free, the hospital offered its facilities free of charge and Letson was able to get the British company that produced the prosthesis to discount the price.

Surgeons removed Josalyn's humerus bone -- which extends from the elbow to the shoulder -- and parts of her elbow and shoulder, including some of the muslce that had been invaded by the cancer.

Next, every muscle, ligament, nerve, and blood vessel had to be reattached to the new metal bone in order to preserve her use of the arm. The surgery was a success and Josalyn will retain almost all of her mobility and most of the strength in her arm.

"Her shoulder will be weaker, but her elbow and wrist are functioning normally already. Her goal was to be able to play the piano and she's already playing the piano again," says Letson.

As Josalyn grows, surgeons will have to make a small incision in her shoulder about once a year in order to turn a screw that lengthens the prosthetic, but aside from this minor, out-patient procedure, the new funny bone will last her a lifetime.

This X-ray shows the prosthesis now that it's in Josalyn Kaldenberg's arm.

Josalyn's osteosarcoma has responded well to chemotherapy as well, which puts her chance at surviving cancer free at over 80 percent, Letson says.

"It all just came together. Everything was really in her favor," he says.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 13845923.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...