Advances in segmental endoprosthetic reconstruction for extremity tumors: A review of contemporary designs and techniques

Brian T. Palumbo, Eric R. Henderson, John S. Groundland, David Cheong, Elisa Pala, G. Douglas Letson, Pietro Ruggieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Improved understanding and advances in treatment regimens have led to increased longevity among patients diagnosed with extremity soft tissue sarcomas. Limb salvage techniques and implants have improved and continue to evolve to accommodate the increasing demands and survival of these patients. Methods: The current report is a review of the literature for recent advancements in techniques, implant design, and outcomes in the fi eld of limb salvage therapy using segmental megaprostheses for the treatment of extremity sarcomas. We report on our experience in this fi eld utilizing a classifi cation system of failure mechanisms to outline to discuss current controversies in management. Results: Five mechanisms of failure have been identifi ed: soft-tissue failure, aseptic loosening, structural failure, infection, and tumor progression. Infection was the most common mode of failure in our series, accounting for 34% of cases. Soft-tissue failure occurred most commonly in the joints that depend heavily on periarticular muscles and ligaments for stability due to their high degree of functional range of motion. We observed a 28% soft-tissue failure rate about the shoulder and hip, aseptic loosening accounted for 19% of implant failures, and structural failure was seen in 17% of cases. Seventeen percent of cases failed due to tumor progression, an etiology that is defined by biological factors, surgical technique, and adjuvant therapies. Conclusions: Surgical techniques and megaprosthesis designs are constantly changing in order to meet the challenge of increasing functional demands and longevity in this unique patient population. A classifi cation system defi ned by treatment failure etiologies provides the framework for discussion of current controversies in limb salvage therapy as well as a guide for advancement and potential solutions in this challenging arena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-170
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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