Non-invasive extendible endoprostheses for limb reconstruction in skeletally-mature patients

M D Sewell, B G I Spiegelberg, S A Hanna, W J S Aston, J M Meswania, G W Blunn, C Henry, S R Cannon, T W R Briggs

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We describe the application of a non-invasive extendible endoprosthetic replacement in skeletally-mature patients undergoing revision for failed joint replacement with resultant limb-length inequality after malignant or non-malignant disease. This prosthesis was developed for tumour surgery in skeletally-immature patients but has now been adapted for use in revision procedures to reconstruct the joint or facilitate an arthrodesis, replace bony defects and allow limb length to be restored gradually in the post-operative period. We record the short-term results in nine patients who have had this procedure after multiple previous reconstructive operations. In six, the initial reconstruction had been performed with either allograft or endoprosthetic replacement for neoplastic disease and in three for non-neoplastic disease. The essential components of the prosthesis are a magnetic disc, a gearbox and a drive screw which allows painless lengthening of the prosthesis using the principle of electromagnetic induction. The mean age of the patients was 37 years (18 to 68) with a mean follow-up of 34 months (12 to 62). They had previously undergone a mean of six (2 to 14) open procedures on the affected limb before revision with the non-invasive extendible endoprosthesis. The mean length gained was 56 mm (19 to 107) requiring a mean of nine (3 to 20) lengthening episodes performed in the outpatient department. There was one case of recurrent infection after revision of a previously infected implant and one fracture of the prosthesis after a fall. No amputations were performed. Planned exchange of the prosthesis was required in three patients after attainment of the maximum lengthening capacity of the implant. There was no failure of the lengthening mechanism. The Mean Musculoskeletal Tumour Society rating score was 22 of 30 available points (18 to 28). The use of a non-invasive extendible endoprosthesis in this manner provided patients with good functional results and restoration of leg-length equality, without the need for multiple open lengthening procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1360-1365
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthrodesis
  • Bone Lengthening
  • Bone Resorption
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg Length Inequality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


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