A retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the outcomes of massive allograft arthrodesis in the management of high-grade osteosarcoma around the knee.
The results of 19 patients with high-grade osteosarcoma around the knee, which was treated by wide resection and reconstruction using allograft arthrodesis, were evaluated for a mean length of 7.3 years (range, 3–13 years). The mean age at the time of surgery was 13.3 years (range, 6–27 years). According to the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society staging system, 17 patients were stage IIB and 2 were stage IIIB at presentation. Evaluations were based on the oncologic results, non-oncologic results and complications. Functional evaluation was performed with the Enneking functional evaluation form.
Four patients (21.1%) died of their disease; 3 (15.8%) are alive with disease; and 12 (63.2%) are free of disease. Four patients (21.1%) had local recurrence of their tumor at a mean of 23 months postoperatively (range, 9–44 months). The mean time to union of the metaphyseal junction was 24.7 weeks (range, 16–30 weeks) and the diaphyseal junction was 47 weeks (range, 24–78 weeks). The overall complication rate was 31.6%, including 2 (10.5%) infections, 3 (15.8%) allograft fractures, and 1 (5.3%) nonunion. Our mean final functional result was 65%.
Due to the high rate of complications in this study, we conclude that allograft arthrodesis should be left as a salvage or “back-up” reconstructive procedure after resection of osteosarcoma around the knee, unless there are special indications for this procedure. We found allograft fracture to be the most common complication.