Intercalary diaphyseal endoprosthetic reconstruction for malignant tibial bone tumours

M. D. Sewell, S. A. Hanna, A. McGrath, W. J. S. Aston, G. W. Blunn, R. C. Pollock, J. A. Skinner, S. R. Cannon, T. W. R. Briggs


The best method of reconstruction after resection of malignant tumours of the tibial diaphysis is unknown. In the absence of any long-term studies analysing the results of intercalary endoprosthetic replacement, we present a retrospective review of 18 patients who underwent limb salvage using a tibial diaphyseal endoprosthetic replacement following excision of a malignant bone tumour. There were ten men and eight women with a mean age of 42.5 years (16 to 76). Mean follow-up was 58.5 months (20 to 141) for all patients and 69.3 months (20 to 141) for the 12 patients still alive. Cumulative patient survival was 59% (95% confidence interval (CI) 32 to 84) at five years. Implant survival was 63% (95% CI 35 to 90) at ten years. Four patients required revision to a proximal tibial replacement at a mean follow-up of 29 months (10 to 54). Complications included metastases in five patients, aseptic loosening in four, peri-prosthetic fracture in two, infection in one and local recurrence in one. The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score and the mean Toronto Extremity Salvage Score were 23 (17 to 28) and 74% (53 to 91), respectively.

Although rates of complication and revision were high, custom-made tibial diaphyseal replacement following resection of malignant bone tumours enables early return to function and provides an attractive alternative to other surgical options, without apparent compromise of patient survival.

  • Received August 23, 2010.
  • Accepted April 14, 2011.
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