Non-invasive distal femoral expandable endoprosthesis for limb-salvage surgery in paediatric tumours

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We report our early experience with the use of a non-invasive distal femoral expandable endoprosthesis in seven skeletally immature patients with osteosarcoma of the distal femur. The patients had a mean age of 12.1 years (9 to 15) at the time of surgery. The prosthesis was lengthened at appropriate intervals in outpatient clinics, without anaesthesia, using the principle of electromagnetic induction. The patients were functionally evaluated using the Musculoskeletal Tumour Society scoring system. The mean follow-up was 20.2 months (14 to 30). The prostheses were lengthened by a mean of 25 mm (4.25 to 55) and maintained a mean knee flexion of 110° (100° to 120°). The mean Musculoskeletal Tumour Society score was 68% (11 to 29). Complications developed in two patients; one developed a flexion deformity of 25° at the knee joint, which was subsequently overcome and one died of disseminated disease. The early results from patients treated with this device have been encouraging. The implant avoids multiple surgical procedures, general anaesthesia and assists in maintaining leg-length equality.

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