Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 1 ( April, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Complications of limb salvage surgery in childhood tumors and recommended solutions

H. Ozger, M. Bulbul, L. Eralp

Keywords : Childhood tumors, Tumor prosthesis

Citation Information : Ozger H, Bulbul M, Eralp L. Complications of limb salvage surgery in childhood tumors and recommended solutions. 2010; 5 (1):11-15.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-009-0075-y

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).


Bone and soft tissue malignancies are associated with serious diagnostic and therapeutic problems in every level of pubertal growth in children. Current treatment modality preferred in bone and soft tissue tumors is wide resection of tumor followed by the reconstruction of consequent defect by various methods. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are applied for systemic effects to the patient pre- and post-operatively and for local effects that facilitate the surgical procedure. Mostly, it is very difficult to control problems following wide resection and reconstruction. In this study, our aim is to discuss the problems encountered in different resection and reconstruction approaches in childhood bone and soft tissue tumors, and the recommended solutions addressed to these problems. From 1990 to 2003, a total of 68 patients (38 female, 30 male) with a mean age of 13.1 (1.5–18) were included in the study. 85.3% of patients were diagnosed as osteosarcoma and the rest was Ewing's sarcoma. Seventy-five percent of patients had stage IIB disease. The lesions of 34 patients were detected to be in distal femur, 26 in proximal tibia and fibula, 4 in foot and ankle joint, and the remaining 4 in pelvis. As reconstructive surgery, 40 patients had modular prosthesis, vascularized fibular graft was performed in 13 patients, and 10 patients underwent arthrodesis with vascularized fibular graft. 20.6% of patients had shortened limb, infection was detected in 4 patients, laxity in 5, and restricted motion in 4 as complication of prosthesis. With sacrificed physis, 13 patients had a mean value of 4.6 cm limb shortness. Limb salvage surgery has been considered as the gold standard treatment in orthopedic oncological surgery. More understanding of the biology of sarcoma, introduction of new effective chemotherapeutic agents, development of new techniques concerning the surgical resection, advances in diagnostic methods, and improvements in reconstructive surgery all make a major contribution to limb salvage surgery. Since some problems are still encountered, we offer a therapeutic algorithm for complications in the management of childhood tumors that we have encountered so far.

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