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Ewing Sarcoma of the Acetabulum in Children: A “Growth Plate–based” Surgical Strategy

Sales de Gauzy, Jérôme MD; Lafontan, Valérie MD; Urseï, Monica MD; Accadbled, Franck MD, PhD

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: April/May 2014 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 326–330
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000112

Background: Surgical strategy for Ewing sarcoma (ES) of the pelvis relies on Enneking classification. In adults, in case the acetabulum is involved, excision of the entire acetabulum is needed and often leads to loss of function. In children, the surgeon may adopt a strategy, such as in metaphyseal tumors of long bones where an unaffected growth plate allows a transepiphyseal resection, therefore sparing the joint.

Methods: We present a “triradiate cartilage strategy” for the excision of ES of the pubic component of the acetabulum, which allows a wide resection while preserving most of the socket. The approach is ilioinguinal. Osteotomies of the iliopubic and ischio pubicrami are performed, followed by hip arthrotomy and anterior dislocation. Transacetabular resection is achieved using osteotomes, under image intensifier guidance, with no further reconstruction. Cases are presented for 2 boys aged 6.5 and 9.5 years, treated with chemotherapy and transacetabular resection.

Results: Resections were all rated R0. Patient #1 remained asymptomatic, including during sport activities, and had normal hip range of motion at 12-year follow-up. Radiograph demonstrated mild protrusio acetabuli. Patient #2 had no complain at 3-year follow-up with normal hip range of motion, although he presented with an equinus gait. Radiographs demonstrated a well-covered femoral head without medial shift.

Conclusions: A “growth plate–based” surgical strategy can be adapted to malignant pelvic tumors in skeletally immature children. This technique leaves intact the ilio ischiatic component of the triradiate cartilage, which, according to Ponseti, contributes the most to the growth of the acetabulum. Joint sparing improves the functional result and decreases the risk of complication.

Level of Evidence: IV.

Service de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologique, Hôpital des Enfants, Toulouse, France

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Franck Accadbled, MD, PhD, Service de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologique, Hôpital des Enfants, 330, Avenue de Grande Bretagne, 31059 Toulouse, Cedex 9, France. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins