Source: KETV News, Omaha
Rouse said she was at a gas station at 108th and Emmet streets, when her group of friends got into a fight with another group of people. She was caught in the middle and run over by a hit-and-run driver.
She spent the next three months in the hospital as doctors worked to save her leg.
After 10 surgeries, the battle is not over for Rouse. In fact, her hope rests on a rare surgery and someone else’s knee.
"It treats the whole defect. You don't have to wait for the cartilage to grow. And, in some cases, when you have a huge defect and also have some bony defects, it can be a good way to treat it,” said Dr. Thomas Connolly, orthopedic surgeon at Creighton University Medical Center.
Connollly is not treating Rouse, but he knows all about the total knee transplant, where the bone and everything around it comes from a cadaver.
Rouse awaits an MRI to determine if she has enough cartilage to support the transplant. If she does, she’ll be added to a list and wait for a donor match.
According to the book “Tissue Engineering,” compiled by a group of medical experts, there are some risks with knee transplants, including blood disease and a chance of rejection. But the book shows the success rate at 85 percent.
For a mom who never thought she’d walk again, it’s the hope of a new life with new mobility.
"You do what you want to do, and don't stop until you get there,” Rouse said.
Another option for Rouse is a partial knee replacement. But Connolly said that’s a last resort for younger patients because of potential complications and the need for more surgeries in the future.