Custom endoprosthetic reconstruction for malignant bone disease in the humeral diaphysis

Published online: Apr 27 2011

Anthony McGrath, Mathew D. Sewell, Sammy A. Hanna, Robin C. Pollock, John A. Skinner, Stephen R. Cannon, Timothy W.R. Briggs

From The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, U.K.


The optimal reconstructive method following segmental resection of malignant tumours in the humeral diaphysis is unknown as there are no prospective long-term studies comparing biologic with endoprosthetic reconstruction. This is a retrospective review of 13 patients who, between 1995 and 2010, had undergone limb salvage at our institution using a custom-made humeral diaphyseal endoprosthetic replacement following excision of malignant bone disease. There were 9 males and 4 females with a mean age of 35 years at the time of surgery (range : 10 to 78). Mean follow-up was 56.8 months (range : 5 to 148). Cumulative patient survival was 75% at 10 years. Implant survival, with removal of the endoprosthesis or part of it for any reason as an end point, was 47% at 10 years. Seven patients required revision (54%). Complications included metastases in four, aseptic loosening in four, peri-prosthetic fracture in two and local recurrence in two. Mean MSTS and TESS scores were 23 (18 to 27) and 67% (52-80) respectively. Custom-made humeral diaphyseal replacement following resection of malignant bone tumours provided functional results superior to amputation, without an obvious compromise in patient survival. There was a relatively high revision rate for aseptic loosening and peri-prosthetic fracture and patients should be counselled about this pre-operatively.