European review for medical and pharmacological sciences

Application of acrylic spacers for long bone defects after tumoral resections.

PMID 24065231


Tumoral resections pose serious challenges because sufficient removal has to be balanced against function preservation. A particular type of resection is encountered when the tumor is located in the diaphysis. It can lead to an important gap which cannot always amend to bone grafting in the same procedure. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the long term outcome of segmental bone loss in patients with malignant tumors removed from diaphyseal regions and treated by intramedullary nailing and polymethylmethacrylate spacer. The limb function was then evaluated using a range of motion by the Musculoskeletal Tumor Score (MSTS) and the perceived quality of life measured by the EORTC QLQ-C30. There were no immediate postoperative local or systemic complications and no failures of the nail/cement construct. All cases were allowed immediate weight bearing (lower limb) and none were immobilized (upper limb). The average length of the bone defect was 9 (6-14) centimeters. The average follow-up was 2.5 (1-4) years. Polymethylmethacrylate cement spacers, over intramedullary nailing, have statistically proved a feasible and inexpensive procedure with limited complications, low surgical stress and favorable functional outcomes. It can be a definitive therapy for advanced cases, as well as temporary solution which can be successfully converted to secondary bone grafting.