Is osseous reattachment of the greater trochanter necessary compared to soft-tissue-only abductor repair in proximal femoral megaprosthesis reconstruction?

John Groundland, Jeffrey Brown, Kevin Jones, Lor Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: One of the challenges to surgical reconstruction following oncologic proximal femur resection is reliable re-establishment of the abductor mechanism. Surgical and functional outcomes following re-approximation of the abductor mechanism to a metallic endoprosthetic after tumor resection of the proximal femur have not been well established in the literature. Methods: A retrospective review was performed, inclusive of patients who received a proximal femur replacement with a metallic endoprosthesis following tumor resection. Patients were divided into two groups: (1) those that received an abductor repair involving a trochanteric osteotomy and osseous fixation of the greater trochanter/abductor mechanism to the endoprosthesis, and (2) those that did not have a trochanteric osteotomy and therefore had an abductor repair consisting of only soft tissue reattachment to the endoprosthesis. The two groups were assessed for demographic characteristics, diagnosis, surgical outcomes including rates of complication and failure, radiographic evidence of trochanteric failure, and functional outcomes. Descriptive statistics, comparative statistics, and logistic regression analyses were performed to discern differences between the two study groups. Results: Fifty-three patients were included in the analysis, 29 had abductor reconstructions involving reattachment of the greater trochanter to the metallic endoprosthesis and 24 had soft tissue reconstruction of the abductor mechanism without bony fixation. There were no differences between the two groups for demographic data, cancer diagnosis, follow up, or survivorship. Radiographic evidence of trochanteric dissociation from the endoprosthesis was observed in 45% of osteotomy cases. Only 10% of patients in the trochanter osteotomy group and 38% of the soft tissue only group were able to resume a normal, non-Trendelenburg gait at final postoperative visit (p =.024). Need for an assistive ambulatory device was seen in 83% and 67% of the osteotomy and soft-tissue-only patients, respectively (p =.21). Conclusion: Re-establishing the abductor mechanism following proximal femur oncologic resection remains a challenge to orthopedic oncologists. Even when possible, salvage of the greater trochanter for reattachment to the endoprosthesis did not lead to improved function in this series, when compared to a similar cohort that received a soft-tissue-only abductor repair. Abductor mechanism reconstruction with a greater trochanteric osteotomy and subsequent fixation to the proximal femur endoprosthesis had a high rate of radiographic failure. Additionally, reattachment of the greater trochanter to the proximal femur endoprosthesis demonstrated no improvement in Trendelenburg gait or reliance on an assistive ambulatory device when compared to a soft-tissue-only abductor repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • endoprosthetic reconstruction
  • orthopedic surgical oncology
  • proximal femur abductor repair
  • proximal femur megaprosthesis
  • proximal femur reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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