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Update on Dr. Beth's leave of absence #2

Update on Dr. Beth's leave of absence #2:

Dr. Beth is again going to be on medical leave for an extended period of time. On Saturday, July 23rd, Dr. Beth took a fall. This fall actually happened because the titanium rod inside her femur (thigh bone) had weakened over time and broke completely in half. This injury has always been a possibility and happened without any warning and without her overdoing it. As you may recall from the last medical leave, Dr. Beth had osteosarcoma (a type of childhood malignant bone caner) in her right knee at the age of 12. Major reconstructive surgery was done 24 years ago, which involved removing the tumor and replacing a large portion of her thigh bone with a donor bone, a total knee replacement, and a stabilizing titanium rod from her knee joint up through her thigh bone to her hip. All had gone ok for her since this procedure until recently, when the knee replacement showed sings of wear. In April, she underwent successful knee surgery to replace the worn parts in her knee joint. She returned to work after six weeks and was doing quite well.

Because of the circumstances, the break in the rod cannot be repaired, nor can it be removed without risking a shattered thigh bone. Dr. Beth is electing amputation, which sounds very drastic, but it is the most practical approach to her situation. She is VERY optimistic about this, as it will honestly provide her the ability to do things she has not been able to do for 24 years. Osteosarcoma is a very complex disease, and sometimes does result in amputation to achieve a cure. This has always been a possibility for her if the hardware failed in this way.

Dr. Beth's surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd. She will keep us updated as she goes through the recovery and rehabilitation. She wants to be back as soon as she has independence and plans to continue in every manner possible. Fitting for a prosthetic leg begins about 2 months after surgery, which will then allow her to be much more mobile.

Please know that this is a very hard time for her, but she is very optimistic in the outcome that she will attain. She hopes to be back within 12 weeks on a part time basis, but we will know more once we get through the initial healing process. Bellwood will miss her greatly while she is out!

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