Soft tissue sarcomas of the hand and foot: Management and survival

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Soft tissue sarcomas of the hands and feet present a challenge for limb-preserving resections.


A retrospective review of 19 patients with sarcomas of the hand or foot was done. Wide or local excision was performed in 14 patients (74%), and amputation in 5 patients (26%). Of the latter group, three amputations involved a digit or toe, and two (10%) were major amputations (one Syme amputation and one below-knee amputation). When the minimum surgical margin was narrow (1 to 2 mm), adjuvant radiation was given postoperatively (n=4).


Local recurrence was observed in four patients (21%). Two of these required an amputation for local control. Local recurrence was observed in one of four patients (25%) treated with marginal resection and radiation and three of 15 (20%) of those with resection alone.


A sizable percentage (37%) of patients with soft tissue sarcomas of the hand and foot ultimately required an amputation, although often the amputation was a minor one involving only a toe or a digit. Limb preservation was successful in the majority of patients (63%). The local recurrence rate was 21%, which may be improved with more frequent use of adjuvant therapy. The 5-year survival rate was 82%, which is better than that usually quoted for overall extremity soft tissue sarcomas.

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