When little Mark Blinder was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, doctors at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital gave his parents three agonizing options: amputate the affected arm at the shoulder, irradiate the tumor and risk a second malignancy, or try a limb-preserving surgery that had never been attempted in a toddler.
Nearly a year later, Mark, now 4, is thriving with a surgically implanted artificial humerus inside his cancer-free right arm. He's believed to be the first small child to receive a telescoping prosthesis to replace the entire upper arm bone. "There’s no pre-existing prosthesis for a child this small," said orthopedic surgeon Lawrence Rinsky, MD, who implanted the one-of-a-kind artificial bone he also helped design.
Photo by Lucile Packard Children's Hospital