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Surgical Treatment of Malignant Tumors of the Calcaneus

Jing Li PhD, MD1 and Zheng Wang MD1
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  • 1 Department of Orthopaedic Oncology, Xijing Hospital Affiliated to the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
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Background

Amputation has been most commonly considered the only option to achieve local tumor control for calcaneal malignancies. Advances in oncologic treatment modalities and wide resection have made limb salvage increasingly possible. We retrospectively reviewed nine patients with calcaneal malignancies treated with different surgical options.

Methods

The diagnoses included chondrosarcoma in three patients, Ewing's sarcoma in three, osteosarcoma in two, and small round cell sarcoma in one. Four patients were managed by below-the-knee amputation owing to neurovascular invasion. Five patients were managed by limb salvage procedures. Pedicled osteomyocutaneous fibular grafts were used to reconstruct the defects created after total calcanectomy in limb salvage procedures. Clinical and radiographic evaluations were performed, and functional outcomes were assessed using the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score.

Results

The patients were followed up for a mean of 42.3 months. Wide resection margins were achieved in all of the patients with limb salvage surgery. At the final follow-up, two patients had died of disease. Lung metastasis was found in two patients who were alive with disease. Five patients had no evidence of disease. No local recurrence occurred in this series. All of the fibular flaps survived, and fibula hypertrophies were observed in three patients. Average Musculoskeletal Tumor Society scores were 74.6% and 83.2% in patients with amputation and limb salvage, respectively.

Conclusions

After wide resection of a calcaneal malignancy, biological reconstruction using pedicled osteocutaneous fibular flaps has proved to be a successful limb salvage procedure, offering a satisfactory oncologic and functional outcome alternative to amputation in selected patients.

Corresponding author: Jing Li, PhD, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Oncology, Xijing Hospital Affiliated to the Fourth Military Medical University, 15 Changle West Rd, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710032, China. (E-mail: 13359265058@189.cn)