We determined the efficacy of a devitalised autograft (n = 13) and allograft (n = 16) cortical strut bone graft combined with long-stem endoprosthetic reconstruction in the treatment of massive tumours of the lower limb. A total of 29 patients (18 men:11 women, mean age 20.1 years (12 to 45) with a ratio of length of resection to that of the whole prosthesis of > 50% were treated between May 2003 and May 2012. The mean follow-up was 47 months (15 to 132). The stem of the prosthesis was introduced through bone graft struts filled with cement, then cemented into the residual bone. Bone healing was achieved in 23 patients (86%). The mean Musculoskeletal Tumour Society functional score was 85% (57 to 97). The five-year survival rate of the endoprostheses was 81% (95% confidence intervals 67.3 to 92.3). The mean length of devitalised autografts and allografts was 8.6 cm (5 to 15), which increased the ratio of the the length of the stem of the prosthesis to that of the whole length of the prosthesis from a theoretical 35% to an actual 55%.
Cortical strut bone grafting and long-stem endoprosthetic reconstruction is an option for treating massive segmental defects following resection of a tumour in the lower limb. Patients can regain good function with a low incidence of aseptic loosening. The strut graft and the residual bone together serve as a satisfactory bony environment for a revision prosthesis, if required, once union is achieved.