Factors affecting outcome of massive intercalary bone allografts in the treatment of tumours of the femur

T. Frisoni, L. Cevolani, A. Giorgini, B. Dozza, D. M. Donati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We retrospectively reviewed 101 consecutive patients with 114 femoral tumours treated by massive bone allograft at our institution between 1986 and 2005. There were 49 females and 52 males with a mean age of 20 years (4 to 74). At a median follow-up of 9.3 years (2 to 19.8), 36 reconstructions (31.5%) had failed. The allograft itself failed in 27 reconstructions (24%). Mechanical complications such as delayed union, fracture and failure of fixation were studied. The most adverse factor on the outcome was the use of intramedullary nails, followed by post-operative chemotherapy, resection length > 17 cm and age > 18 years at the time of intervention. The simultaneous use of a vascularised fibular graft to protect the allograft from mechanical complications improved the outcome, but the use of intramedullary cementing was not as successful. In order to improve the strength of the reconstruction and to advance the biology of host-graft integration, we suggest avoiding the use of intramedullary nails and titanium plates, but instead using stainless steel plates, as these gave better results. The use of a supplementary vascularised fibular graft should be strongly considered in adult patients with resection > 17 cm and in those who require post-operative chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-841
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Volume94 B
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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