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"A Nation in Motion:" Orthopaedic Surgery and The Story of Bobby Menges

Orthopaedic surgery helps keep a young boy's hope and vigor. The story of Bobby Menges shows us that orthopaedic surgeries are a saving grace.

LongIsland.com—August 21, 2012

Bobby Menges, at the age of five, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue and usually occurs in infants and children).

After a year and a half of chemotherapy; Bobby broke his femur on a family skiing trip. Placed in a wheelchair for 15 weeks, the once active and athletic boy was challenged by life’s unpredictable and at times cruel course of events. Bobby Menges learned from doctors that his left leg would never grow on its own; however, with the help of orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Robert Rozbruch of Hospital for Special Surgery, Bobby was given more than hope, he was given his own guardian angel that was orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Robert Rozbruch performed a limb lengthening surgery on Bobby Menges.

According to Dr. Rozbruch, “The surgery had been performed several hundred times before, however Bobby is a really special case because of his additional battle with cancer, the large deformity and length discrepancy...I felt confident about my ability to lengthen his leg and correct his deformity. The Menges family was so positive and optimistic about the entire project. That was a huge plus.” And so, the process began, Bobby’s femur bone was extended 1 millimeter a day. Dr. Rozbruch created a stimulus for growth in Bobby’s leg by stretching the soft tissue in Bobby’s nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Gradually, Bobby went from a wheelchair, to crutches, to regaining his mobility. After the triumph of surgery, Bobby is a regular 14-year-old boy, who wrestles, water skis, snowboards, and most importantly, is free of cancer.

Dr. Rozbruch has words of advice for families in similar situations: “Stay positive and keep plugging away. Find doctors who will think out of the box and who will tackle challenging problems.” Orthopaedic surgery can be a miracle for anyone who has the opportunity to take it. Doctors like Robert Rozbruch are more than ready and more than capable to restore mobility back to their patients’ lives.

Read the full story at longisland.com.


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