Background: After internal hemipelvectomy, successful pelvic reconstruction can provide a durable and pain-free reconstruction for the young, active patient. Such reconstruction is extremely challenging, and often patients have less than optimal ambulation with a limp, leg length discrepancy, or leg instability. The authors present an innovative method for pelvic ring reconstruction using a vascularized double-strut fibular bone flap that provides a stable pelvis and recovery of normal or near-normal gait.
Methods: From December of 2003 to November of 2005, six sarcoma patients underwent internal hemipelvectomy and pelvic ring reconstruction with a vascularized double-strut fibular bone flap. The length of each strut was 7 to 12 cm.
Results: All bone flaps survived. The mean follow-up was 18 months (range, 8 to 32 months). Radiographic evidence of bone bridging was seen at a mean of 2.5 months (range, 2 to 4 months). The mean time to ambulation without assistance was 8 months (range, 5 to 18 months). One patient died as a result of metastatic disease. The remaining five patients are ambulatory with a mild limp or no limp.
Conclusion: Use of a vascularized double-strut fibular bone flap for pelvic ring reconstruction is effective in facilitating early ambulation and restoring normal to near-normal gait in patients undergoing internal hemipelvectomy.
From the Departments of Plastic Surgery and Surgical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Received for publication March 12, 2007; accepted May 14, 2007.
Presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, June 14 through 17, 2006.
Disclosure: The authors have no financial interests to disclose.
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David W. Chang, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery, Unit 443, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, email@example.com