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J Neurosurg Spine. 2012 Oct;17(4):285-91. doi: 10.3171/2012.7.SPINE09351. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Surgical treatment of sacral metastases: indications and results.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77230-1402, USA.

Abstract

OBJECT:

Hematogenous metastases to the sacrum can produce significant pain and lead to spinal instability. The object of this study was to evaluate the palliative benefit of surgery in patients with these metastases.

METHODS:

The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases involving patients undergoing surgery for metastatic disease to the sacrum at a single tertiary cancer center between 1993 and 2005.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five patients (21 men, 4 women) were identified as having undergone sacral surgery for hematogenous metastatic disease during the study period. Their median age was 57 years (range 25-71 years). The indications for surgery included palliation of pain (in 24 cases), need for diagnosis (in 1 case), and spinal instability (in 3 cases). The most common primary disease was renal cell carcinoma. Complications occurred in 10 patients (40%). The median overall survival was 11 months (95% CI 5.4-16.6 months). The median time from the initial diagnosis to the diagnosis of metastatic disease in the sacrum was 14 months (95% CI 0.0-29.3 months). The numerical pain scores (scale 0-10) were improved from a median of 8 preoperatively to a median of 3 postoperatively at 90 days, 6 months, and 1 year (p < 0.01). Postoperative modified Frankel grades improved in 8 cases, worsened in 3 (due to disease progression), and remained unchanged in 14 (p = 0.19). Among patients with renal cell carcinoma, the median overall survival was better in those in whom the sacrum was the sole site of metastatic disease than in those with multiple sites of metastatic disease (16 vs 9 months, respectively; p = 0.053).

CONCLUSIONS:

Surgery is effective to palliate pain with acceptable morbidity in patients with metastatic disease to the sacrum. In the subgroup of patients with renal cell carcinoma, those with the sacrum as their solitary site of metastatic disease demonstrated improved survival.

PMID:
22900506
DOI:
10.3171/2012.7.SPINE09351
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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