Birmingham student’s life saved when doctors sewed his foot on backwards after bone cancer

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South & City College student Ibrahim Abdulrauf underwent surgery in Birmingham after discovering he had bone cancer following a minor tumble while playing football

A man diagnosed with bone cancer after a fall had his leg amputated - and his foot sewed on backwards.

It all started when Ibrahim Abdulrauf - aged 14 at the time - was playing football with his brother when he fell after a harsh tackle.

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After the fall, he felt discomfort but went to bed that night expecting to feel better in the morning. When he woke up the following day, things had taken a turn. He was in agony and unable to walk.

Ibrahim said: "When I got up the next morning I collapsed to the ground. ‘I had an electrocuting pain in my leg and I couldn’t put any weight on it at all. I bum-shuffled down the stairs and told my mum that my leg hurt. She shouted at me because she thought I was making excuses so I could miss school."

Ibrahim eventually convinced his mum to take him to A&E at Heartlands Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a bone infection. He stayed in hospital for six weeks where he was given antibiotics to treat the infection.

Ibrahim stayed home for three weeks before going back to hospital as the antibiotics weren’t working. He said: "I wasn’t getting any better. My pain was getting worse and I got a big lump on my leg. They thought I had a boil or a cyst."

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Ibrahim was referred to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, where he was eventually diagnosed with bone cancer. He went on to have chemotherapy for six months before doctors decided to operate and perform a Rotationplasty. After the operation, he went through another five months of chemotherapy treatment.

Ibrahim, a chemistry student at South and City College, said: "I thought I was going to die. ‘I was imagining myself dead and my parents at my funeral." The surgery and chemotherapy were successful and Ibrahim started rehabilitation. He was given daily exercises to complete at home, which helped him get used to the prosthesis he now uses.

Ibrahim Abdulrauf, from Birmingham, underwent Rotationplasty after being diagnosed with bone cancer at the Royal Orthopaedic HospitalIbrahim Abdulrauf, from Birmingham, underwent Rotationplasty after being diagnosed with bone cancer at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital
Ibrahim Abdulrauf, from Birmingham, underwent Rotationplasty after being diagnosed with bone cancer at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital | SWNS

It took Ibrahim three years to learn to walk again, which he has been able to do since completing rehab in 2020. He is now able to play sports, dance, and is self-sufficient for the first time in years.

Ibrahim said: "I can still play badminton. I used to play every weekend. I’m very grateful to have my independence back I can look after myself now. Rotationplasty gives you a lot more function and movement. You can control the leg yourself. This way I can use my own leg with my own nerves because they reattach them all after putting the leg back on."

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