Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

What Sport Activity Levels Are Achieved in Patients After Resection and Endoprosthetic Reconstruction for a Proximal Femur Bone Sarcoma?

Gerhard M. Hobusch MD, Jakob Bollmann CM, Stephan E. Puchner MD, Nikolaus W. Lang MD, Jochen G. Hofstaetter MD, Philipp T. Funovics MD, MSc, Reinhard Windhager MD

Abstract

Background

Limited information is available about sports activities of survivors after resection and reconstruction of primary malignant bone tumors with megaprostheses. Because patients often ask what activities are possible after treatment, objective knowledge about sports activities is needed to help assess the risks of sports participation and to help guide patients’ expectations.

Questions/purposes

The aims of this study were to evaluate (1) what proportion of patients with proximal-femoral megaprostheses placed as part of tumor reconstructions can perform sports; (2) what activity levels they achieved; and (3) whether sports activity levels are associated with an increased likelihood of revision.

Methods

This retrospective study considered all 27 living patients in our institutional tumor registry with enduring proximal-femoral reconstructions performed more than 5 years ago who were between the ages of 11 and 49 years at the time of the reconstruction; seven were lost to followup and one was excluded because of paraplegia as a result of a car accident and another because of senile dementia; another two were excluded from statistics because of growing prostheses and skeletal immaturity at the time of followup, leaving 16 (11 male, five female) for analysis. Their mean age was 26 ± 12 years (range, 11–49 years) at surgery, and the mean followup was 18 ± 7 years (range, 5–27 years). Types of sports, frequency per week, duration of each sports session as well as the UCLA and modified Weighted Activity Score were assessed retrospectively by an independent assessor a median of 18 years (range, 5.3–27 years) after surgery.

Results

Patients recalled that preoperatively 14 were practicing sports 5 (± 4) hours/week. At followup, 11 of the patients were practicing one or more sports activities 2 (± 3) hours/week on a regular basis. The preoperative UCLA and modified Weighted Activity Score levels of 9 and 6 fell to levels of 6 (p = 0.005) and 3 (p = 0.025), respectively, at followup. With the numbers of patients available for study, we could not determine that prosthetic failures were associated with sport activity levels.

Conclusions

Patients who survive primary malignant bone tumors in the proximal femur reconstructed by megaprostheses are able to perform some sports activities. The estimates of activity levels made in this study probably are best-case estimates, given that some patients were lost to followup; patients unaccounted for might not be doing as well as those represented here. Also, the degree to which sports participation influences implant durability remains, for the most part, unanswered; studies with more patients and longer followup will be needed to determine to what degree prosthesis survivorship relates to sporting activity levels. Most patients perform low-impact sports and at a lower level than they had preoperatively. Because this is a preliminary study of a select group of patients, further information is necessary to weight the benefits of higher sports activity levels against potential risks. If this can be confirmed in a larger number of patients, the information may guide surgeons in their discussion with patients preoperatively and give them some objective assessment of what to expect regarding sports activities.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, therapeutic study.