Endoprosthetic replacement of the distal humerus following resection of bone tumours

S A Hanna, L A David, W J S Aston, P D Gikas, G W Blunn, S R Cannon, T W R Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1988 and 2006, 18 patients had a custom-made endoprosthetic replacement of the distal humerus for bone tumours at our institution. There were 11 primary malignant neoplasms, six secondary deposits, and one benign aggressive tumour. The mean follow-up was for 4.4 years (1 to 18.2). Complications occurred in nine patients and included aseptic loosening in three (16.6%), local recurrence in two (11%), infection in two (11%), neuropraxia of the radial nerve in one (5.5%) and a peri-prosthetic fracture in one (5.5%). Excision was inadequate in four patients (22%), all of which developed local recurrence and/or metastases. There were seven deaths from the primary disease after a mean of 2.3 years (1 to 5), one of whom had an above-elbow amputation for local recurrence seven months before death. The remaining six had satisfactory elbow function at their last follow-up. The 11 living patients were evaluated using the Musculoskeletal Tumour Society and Toronto Extremity Salvage scoring systems. The mean scores achieved were 76% (67% to 87%) and 73% (59% to 79%), respectively. Overall, 17 of 18 patients had significant improvement in the degree of their pain following operation. Custom-made endoprosthetic reconstruction of the elbow for bone tumours is a viable treatment in carefully selected patients. It maintains satisfactory function and provides good pain relief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1498-1503
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement
  • Bone Neoplasms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Humerus
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reoperation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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