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Article: Outcome of surgical management of bony metastases to the humerus and shoulder girdle: a retrospective analysis of 93 patients.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Metastatic disease to the shoulder girdle is a challenging problem because of the potential for pain, pathologic fracture and loss of function of that limb. Management of the bone disease centers around palliation, prevention of further complications and the preservation of residual function. A variety of surgical options exist for managing metastatic disease to the shoulder girdle and our experience with over 90 patients is reported. We focus on a preferred technique of combining rigid intramedullary nailing with cementation. Patients with metastatic disease to the shoulder girdle were accrued over a 9 year period from 1996 to 2004. 93 patients were identified with 96 operations being performed. The median age was 63 years (range 33 - 89) and 54% were female. The commonest primary tumor to metastasize was breast, and the proximal and midshaft humerus was involved in 84% of cases. The median survival time was 8 months and at last review 82% of patients had died of their disease Operations performed were intramedullary nailing (n = 51), resection with or without prosthetic reconstruction (n = 34) or plate osteosynthesis (n = 9). The site of the metastasis was a guide to the most appropriate operation. Amputations (n = 2) were not done as the primary procedure. Median post operative hospitalization ranged from 3 to 6 days depending on the type of operation performed. Our preferred technique for diaphyseal lesions (intramedullary nailing plus cementation) achieved excellent results in terms of pain relief, functional restoration and minimal complications. Functional restriction was most notable for proximal humeral prostheses (35% of patients). Surgical treatment of metastases to the shoulder girdle can be successful, allowing prompt relief of pain and return to prehospital level of care. Proximal and midshaft humeral metastases are easily amenable to resection and reconstruction or intramedullary nailing with cementation. Relief of pain and preservation of function occurs for the majority of patients.International Seminars in Surgical Oncology 02/2006; 3:5.