Limb-salvage treatment versus amputation for osteosarcoma of the distal end of the femur

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1986 Dec;68(9):1331-7.


A retrospective multi-institutional study of 227 patients with osteosarcoma of the distal end of the femur was done to compare rates of local recurrence, metastasis, and survival. Three cohorts of patients who had had either a limb-sparing procedure, an above-the-knee amputation, or disarticulation of the hip were compared. The results revealed prevalences of eight of seventy-three, nine of 115, and zero of thirty-nine as to local recurrence; forty-three of seventy-three, sixty-five of 115, and twenty-one of thirty-nine as to metastasis; and thirty-three of seventy-three, forty-eight of 115, and eighteen of thirty-nine as to death. Of the seventeen patients who had a local recurrence, sixteen died. In the limb-salvage group, eighteen patients required amputation, because of local recurrence in eight and other local complications in ten. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the percentage of patients who survived and the percentage of patients without recurrent disease showed no difference among the three surgical groups (Mantel-Cox test statistic: p = 0.8) after a median length of follow-up of five and one-half years. Various covariant adjusted estimates yielded similar results. For the entire group of patients, the rate of continuously disease-free survival was 42 per cent, and the over-all rate of survival was 55 per cent at five years. It appears that, compared with above-the-knee amputation or disarticulation of the hip, the use of a limb-salvage procedure for osteosarcoma of the distal end of the femur did not shorten the disease-free interval or compromise long-term survival.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amputation*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Femoral Neoplasms / complications
  • Femoral Neoplasms / mortality
  • Femoral Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Leg / surgery*
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Osteosarcoma / complications
  • Osteosarcoma / mortality
  • Osteosarcoma / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires