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Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2003 Jan;387(9-10):355-65. Epub 2002 Nov 19.

Reimplantation of extracorporeal irradiated bone segments in musculoskeletal tumor surgery: clinical experience in eight patients and review of the literature.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.



Two methods are available for extracorporeally devitalizing resected tumor-bearing bone specimens, the simpler of which, autoclaving, has substantial disadvantages. We present our experience with the alternative reconstruction technique of reimplantating extracorporeally irradiated specimens (IEIR) PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eight patients who had primary malignant bone tumors of the long bones were managed with wide en bloc resection and IEIR. The segments were fixed by either plate osteosynthesis, knee arthrodesis rod, or intramedullary nailing. All seven patients with high-grade tumors received chemotherapy.


After a median follow-up of 66 months (40-76) five of eight patients were continuously free of disease. One man with a chondroblastic osteosarcoma developed pulmonary metastases which were resected. One woman with teleangiectatic osteosarcoma developed a local recurrence in the soft tissue without contact to the irradiated reimplant. At the latest follow-up, 58 months after resection of the pulmonary metastases and 28 months after resection of the locally recurrent tumor, there was no evidence of disease in either patient. Another woman 67 months after IEIR for an osteosarcoma of the distal femur developed a subcutaneous metastasis of the scalp and the thoracic wall and an ossifying pulmonary metastasis. At the time of writing she is receiving chemotherapy. After a median duration of 4.3 months (2.3-25.2) all graft-host junctions had healed. The functional result was good in four patients and excellent in the other four.


Limb salvage using reimplantation of extracorporeally irradiated tumor-bearing bone segments for reconstruction offers an excellent reconstruction method in appropriately selected patients compared with other options of management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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