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Surgical phocomelia is an alternative to amputation in some sarcomas

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Surgical phocomelia is an alternative to amputation in patients with sarcomas when other reconstruction methods are not possible of the upper extremity, according to a study.

In this study, 11 patients with sarcomas of the upper limb underwent surgical phocomelia or phoco-reduction between 2010 and 2019, were followed for a mean period of 27.8 months.

Segmental resection, including the entire humerus, was required in 5 patients and segmental resection around the elbow with a mean resection length of 21.5 cm was undertaken in 6 patients. A good functional outcome was observed with a Mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society 93 score of 22. On the side that was operated on, the mean handgrip strength was 62% of the contralateral side; useful hand function was preserved. The mean time to humeroulnar union was 6.7 months.

Radial nerve palsy occurred in 1 patient and implant failure occurred in one patient.

None of the participants developed local recurrence while 3 died of metastasis.

Kapoor L, Banjara R, Kumar VS, Khan SA. Surgical phocomelia or phoco-reduction as a method of limb salvage for sarcomas of the upper limb: A suitable alternative to amputation. J Surg Oncol. 2021 Oct 2. doi: 10.1002/jso.26704. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34599761.