Quality of life after resection of a chordoma of the mobile spine

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The aim of the study was to compare measures of the quality of life (QOL) after resection of a chordoma of the mobile spine with the national averages in the United States and to assess which factors influenced the QOL, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and coping with pain post-operatively in these patients.

Patients and Methods

A total of 48 consecutive patients who underwent resection of a primary or recurrent chordoma of the mobile spine between 2000 and 2015 were included. A total of 34 patients completed a survey at least 12 months post-operatively. The primary outcome was the EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D-3L) questionnaire. Secondary outcomes were the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) anxiety, depression and pain interference questionnaires. Data which were recorded included the indication for surgery, the region of the tumour, the number of levels resected, the status of the surgical margins, re-operations, complications, neurological deficit, length of stay in hospital and rate of re-admission.


The median EQ-5D-3L score was 0.71 (interquartile range (IQR) 0.44 to 0.79) which is worse than the national average in the United States of 0.85 (p < 0.001). Anxiety (median: 55 (IQR 49 to 61), p = 0.031) and pain (median: 61 (IQR 56 to 68), p < 0.001) were also worse than the national average in the United States (50), while depression was not (median: 52 (IQR 38 to 57), p = 0.513). Patients who underwent a primary resection had better QOL and less anxiety, depression and pain compared with those who underwent resection for recurrent or residual disease. The one- and five-year probabilities were 0.96 and 0.74 for survival, 0.07 and 0.25 for tumour recurrence, and 0.02 and 0.16 for developing distant metastasis. A total of 25 local complications occurred in 20 patients (42%), and there were 50 systemic and other complications in 25 patients (52%) within 90 days.


These patient reported outcomes and oncological and surgical outcomes can be used when counselling patients and to aid decision-making when planning surgery.

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