BACKGROUND: Limb salvage of the proximal tibia can be difficult due to the growth potential of and functional demands of the pediatric patients. Multiple reconstruction techniques exist, however, the ideal form of reconstruction is yet to be elucidated. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate outcomes in patients with an intercalary resection of the proximal tibia reconstructed with an allograft with or without a free vascularized fibula flap (FVF). METHODS: Seventeen pediatric patients (9 males, 8 females) underwent lower extremity limb salvage with the use of intercalary cadaveric allograft at a mean age of 12±4 years. The most common diagnoses were osteosarcoma (n=6) and Ewing sarcoma (n=6). Patients were reconstructed with an allograft alone (n=6) or supplemented with an FVF (n=11). RESULTS: All surviving patients had at least 2 years of clinical follow-up, with the mean follow-up of 12±7 years. The mean time to union of the allograft was 11±4 months, with 6 patients requiring additional bone grafting. There was no difference in the need for an additional bone graft (odds ratio=1.14, P=1.0) between patients with an FVF and those without. Four patients underwent an amputation, all with an allograft alone, due to disease recurrence (n=2) and due to infection (n=2). As such, there was a higher 10-year overall limb-salvage rate when the allograft was combined with an FVF compared with an allograft alone (100% vs. 33%, P=0.001). At last follow-up, the mean Mankin and Musculoskeletal Tumor Society rating was 86%, with a higher mean score in patients reconstructed with an FVF (94% vs. 70%, P=0.002). CONCLUSION: Use of an intercalary allograft supplemented with an FVF to reconstruct the proximal tibia provides a durable means of reconstruction with an excellent functional outcome following oncologic proximal tibia resection in a pediatric population. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III-therapeutic level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine