Use of extendable total femoral replacements in children with malignant bone tumors

O S Schindler, S R Cannon, T W Briggs, G W Blunn, R J Grimer, P S Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although rarely required, extendable reconstruction devices for replacing the entire femur offer children with malignant bone tumors the opportunity of a nearly normal development by overcoming an expected leg length discrepancy. Femoral integrity can be restored, allowing most patients to walk without the use of aids. There are no data available to provide evidence regarding long term results and morbidity in such patients. Six patients (range 2-12 years of age), three with osteogenic osteosarcoma and three with Ewing's sarcoma, were treated between 1988 and 1996 with custom made Stanmore extendable prosthetic total femoral replacements. One patient died 12 months after surgery because of complications relating to pulmonary metastasis. The remaining five patients were observed between 2.7 and 8.9 years (average, 5 years). No tumor recurrence has been recorded and no amputation has been performed. All surviving patients underwent an average of 9.4 operative procedures (range, 4-16 procedures) including 6.4 extension procedures (range, 3-10 procedures), and one prosthetic revision (range, 0-3 procedures). Five revisions in two patients were necessary because of infection, loosening of the prosthesis, mismatch between femoral head and acetabulum, or full extension of the extending mechanism. The functional results were measured in accordance with the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society rating score, with an average result of 77.3%. Total femoral replacement in a growing individual achieves good functional results yet has various risks for an uncertain outcome. Careful selection of the patient and realistic appraisal of the long term prospects are essential for successful treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-70
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number357
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • Bone Neoplasms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Femur
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Reoperation
  • Sarcoma, Ewing
  • Treatment Outcome


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