Distraction osteogenesis reconstruction of large segmental bone defects after primary tumor resection: pitfalls and benefits

  • Jan Lesensky
  • Daniel E. PrinceEmail author
Expert's Opinion • PAEDIATRIC - TUMORS


Successful cure is achieved in almost 70% of patients with primary bone sarcomas with currently available therapies. Some soft tissue sarcomas require wide bone resection in order to achieve appropriate margins for cure of disease, and patients undergoing these procedures need durable reconstruction. Biological reconstruction has been shown to provide patients with superior long-term results over other alternatives. Distraction osteogenesis is well studied in the correction of deformities as well as in addressing some congenital musculoskeletal pathologies. The use of this technique in tumor settings has been avoided by many surgeons for a multitude of concerns, including infection risk, potential tumor activation, and uncertainty regarding the effect of systemic therapy on the callus regenerate. We review the use of this reconstruction technique using cases from our institutional experience to illustrate its incorporation into the successful management of orthopedic oncology patients. Distraction osteogenesis is an effective method for reconstructing even large bony defects and is safe in the setting of systemic therapy. This technique has the potential to address some of the common problems associated with orthopedic oncology resection, such as infection and leg length discrepancy.


Distraction osteogenesis Limb lengthening Oncology Reconstruction Primary bone tumor 



The authors received no funding for the preparation of this review article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

J. Lesensky and D. Prince have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Orthopaedic Service, Department of SurgeryMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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