Primary cement spacers: A cost-effective, durable limb salvage option for knee tumorsPuri, Ajay; Gulia, Ashish; Pruthi, Manish; Koushik, S
Of a total of 818 limb sparing resections in the lower limb requiring reconstruction between December 2002 and April 2010 at our centre, primary cement spacers were used in 15 cases. In three cases they were used as joint sparing intercalary reconstructions and in 12 cases knee arthrodesis was done. Implants used to provide stability to the construct included stacked intramedullary Kuntscher nails in four, an interlocking nail in one, plates in two and a combination of nail with plate in eight. Mean length of bone resected was 18 cm. Mean follow-up was 26 months (10–87 months). There were no local recurrences and none of the spacers needed revision for mechanical failure. The Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score for patients ranged from 20 to 29 with a mean of 24 (80%). Patients with intercalary resection had better functional scores than those with arthrodesis. The construct was successfully revised to a vascularised fibula arthrodesis or prosthesis with good eventual function in three cases. Cement spacers are a suitable cost-effective, durable reconstruction modality in selected patients with good functional outcomes. They are an option to amputation in patients with financial constraints and those that present with large volume or infected fungating tumors.