En bloc spondylectomy in patients older than 60 years: indications, results and complications in a series of 37 patients

  • Carmine ZoccaliEmail author
  • Gennaro Scotto
  • Luca Cannavò
  • Jacopo Baldi
  • Ulrica Scaffidi-Argentina
  • Alessandro Luzzati
Original Article



To review a series of patients > 60 years affected by primary spine bone tumors, who have undergone surgery, and to describe their clinical presentation, results and complications associated with surgical treatment.


A review of all patients > 60 years affected by primary spine bone tumor surgically treated with en bloc spondylectomy from 1993 to 2015 was performed. Thirty-seven cases were identified, and clinical and radiological characteristics, therapy, complications and survival were evaluated.


Only 14/37 cases were not previously treated. Complications were quite frequent: 64% of patients experienced almost one early complication; 48% and 27% experienced 2 and ≥ 3 early complications, respectively; 37% of patients experienced almost one late complication; and 10% and 8% experienced 2 and ≥ 3 late complications, respectively. Massive blood loss and dural tear were the more frequent surgical complications; no deaths were reported during surgeries; one patient died during the first postoperative day due to hemorrhage and cardiac complications, one during the third postoperative day for the same cause despite of a savage surgery, and another one died at 7 days from index surgery due to myocardial infarction. The 5-year disease-related survival and global survival were 62.8% and 52.1%, respectively. Nineteen patients are still alive, 15 of whom without any evidence of disease.


Primary malignant or locally aggressive bone tumors of the spine should be treated with wide surgery also in the older age, although the complications rate and the risk of patient survival can be considered high.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.


En bloc spondylectomy Older age Spine surgery Wide surgery Spine tumor 



Editorial assistance was provided by Luca Giacomelli, Ph.D., and Aashni Shah; this assistance was supported by internal funds.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest directly relevant to this study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

586_2019_5970_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (224 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 223 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oncological OrthopaedicsIRCCS - Regina Elena National Cancer InstituteRomeItaly
  2. 2.Oncological Orthopedics and Reconstructive SurgeryIRCCS - Galeazzi Orthopedic InstituteMilanItaly

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