Results of 20 consecutive patients treated with the Repiphysis expandable prosthesis for primary malignant bone

Joseph Benevenia, Francis Patterson, Kathleen Beebe, Kimberly Tucker, Jeffrey Moore, Joseph Ippolito, Steven Rivero

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16 Scopus citations


Limb-salvage for primary malignant bone tumors in pediatric patients presents a unique challenge when resection includes an active physis. Early expandable prostheses required open surgical procedures to achieve lengthening. Newer prostheses are capable of achieving expansion without open procedures through the use of an electromagnetic field. This study reports our results with 90 consecutive expansion procedures using the Repiphysis® prosthesis. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 20 patients (22 limbs) who underwent limb-salvage using the Repiphysis® prosthesis from 2003 to 2015. There were 9 males and 11 females with a mean age of 9 years and 9 months (6–16 years). Reconstruction included the distal femur in 11 cases, total femur in four, proximal tibia in three, proximal humerus in three, and total humerus in one. Complications were reviewed and functional scores were recorded using the MSTS/ISOLS system. Five patients had a second prosthesis implanted during the course of the study for a total of 27 prostheses. The mean follow-up was 57 (6–148) months. Four patients have not been expanded: three due to death prior to lengthening, and one patient who has not yet developed a leg length discrepancy. Ninety consecutive expansion procedures were performed in 18 limbs in 16 patients. A mean of 9 (5–20) mm was gained per expansion and 4.8 cm per patient who has undergone expansion to date. Seven patients have reached skeletal maturity and have been converted to an adult endoprosthesis. These patients averaged 8 expansions per patient and a mean of 7.4 (1.8–12.9) cm in length gained. There were 15 complications in 11 patients including one dislocation, one contracture, four cases of aseptic loosening, five structural failures (three expansion mechanism failures and two tibial fractures), three deep infections, and one case of local recurrence. The mean MSTS score was 80 % (37–97 %) and the limb retention rate was 95 %. The results of this study are comparable to previous studies involving non-invasive prostheses. This study hopefully provides additional data for clinicians to consider when faced with limb threatening sarcomas in the immature skeleton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number793
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Expandable endoprosthesis
  • Musculoskeletal oncology
  • Orthopaedic surgery


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