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dr james c wittig, orthopedic oncologist, new york, new jersey
Dr. James Wittig, Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center saves the leg of an 8 year old boy with a Ewing sarcoma of the femur with the use of a special non invasive "growing magnetic" extendible distal femur tumor prosthesis.

AN 8-YEAR-OLD Brooklyn boy found a winning weapon in his battle against bone cancer this week: a metal rod and a magnet.

Avrum Rosenberg, of Williamsburg, was diagnosed with a tumor on his thigh bone in the spring and faced amputation to stop the rare cancer from spreading.

His second choice was equally grim: countless surgeries so doctors could install rod after rod in his thigh as he grew.

But on Tuesday, doctors at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital gave Avrum a state-of-the-art solution.

They removed the tumor and replaced the destroyed bone with a recently FDA-approved rod that grows when it is placed under a magnet.

The magnet triggers the metal rod in his leg to expand, in an outpatient procedure that takes about 20 minutes, according to James Wittig, chief of orthopedic oncology at the hospital.

"The biggest advantage is you don't have to bring the child back to the O.R., where they can risk infection, pain and trauma," said Wittig.

This is only the second time he's used the new device since it was approved by the feds earlier this year.

Avrum's parents were elated.

"It's a tragedy for a child to go through surgery once. I didn't want him to have to go through it again and again," said his father, Meyer Rosenberg, 42.

His son is still healing at the hospital but is eager to get back to running around with his friends and dancing with his family.

"He wants to be a normal kid like everyone else," said his mother, Breindy Rosenberg, who runs Quick Way Customs, a small business that helps people import goods.

Avrum's father's explanation for this good fortune: "God answered our prayers."

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