The results of total humeral replacement following excision for primary bone tumour

A. Puri, A. Gulia


Rarely, the extent of a malignant bone tumour may necessitate resection of the complete humerus to achieve adequate oncological clearance. We present our experience with reconstruction in such cases using a total humeral endoprosthesis (THER) in 20 patients (12 male and eight female) with a mean age of 22 years (6 to 59). We assessed the complications, the oncological and functional outcomes and implant survival. Surgery was performed between June 2001 and October 2009. The diagnosis included osteosarcoma in nine, Ewing’s sarcoma in eight and chondrosarcoma in three. One patient was lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up was 41 months (10 to 120) for all patients and 56 months (25 to 120) in survivors. There were five local recurrences (26.3%) and 11 patients were alive at time of last follow-up, with overall survival for all patients being 52% (95% confidence interval (CI) 23.8 to 74) at five years. The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score for the survivors was 22 (73%; 16 to 23). The implant survival was 95% (95% CI 69.5 to 99.3) at five years.

The use of a THER in the treatment of malignant tumours of bone is oncologically safe; it gives consistent and predictable results with low rates of complication.


  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

  • Supplementary material. A table giving further details on each of the patients is available with the electronic version of this article on our website

  • Received March 27, 2012.
  • Accepted May 23, 2012.
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