Girl, 9, gets revolutionary leg lengthening device

Morgan Larue lost a portion of her leg to bone cancer earlier this year.
April 15, 2010 6:42:17 PM PDT
A 9-year-old girl is one of the first cancer patients in Texas to receive a revolutionary procedure that could prevent her from going through numerous traumatic surgeries. Morgan Larue lost a portion of her leg to bone cancer earlier this year. Instead of traditional surgery, doctors at Texas Children's Hospital implanted a unique device which is expandable and allows the lengthening of her leg without surgery, which is critical for a growing young girl. A powerful magnet is used to expand the implant.

Her parents say the procedure will simplify her life.

"She won't have to go through a surgery every two or three months," said Morgan's dad, Jeremy. "She'll be able to keep playing instead of having, you know, be hospitalized for a few days and then have to re-learn to use those muscles again. She'll be able to get it lengthened and walk out of the hospital."

The device is not yet FDA-approved, but the Larue family sought and received a 'compassionate use' exception for their daughter. The device costs $40,000, but the Larue's hometown community of Lovelady raised more than $50,000 to pay for the device for Morgan.


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