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Reconstruction and Outcome of Foot Defects Following Oncological Resection-Experience from a Cancer Centre in North-East India


Solid tumours around the foot are rare and include soft tissue sarcomas, skin and bone malignancies. Extended soft tissue defects due to oncological resection result in the loss of shock-absorbing and friction resistant tissue, which leads to altered walking patterns and pain. Replacement of plantar tissue requires soft tissue resistant to weight, pressure and shear stress. The other important desired goal of foot reconstruction is short wound healing time in order to allow adjuvant therapy at stipulated time. This is a retrospective study from March 2016 to October 2019. A total of twenty-one (n = 21) patients were operated for foot malignancies during this period in our institute and the resulting defects were reconstructed using various methods. Different reconstructive surgeries were performed depending on tumour size, location and general health status of patients. The length of hospitalization and the presence of local postoperative complications were assessed. Functional outcomes were measured in terms of MSTS score. Average age of the series is 53.1 years. Sixty-six percent of the patients (n = 14) presented with tumour at the weight bearing areas and 33% patients (n = 7) at the non-weight bearing areas of the foot. Fifty-seven percent of patients (n = 12) presented with malignant melanoma of foot, squamous cell carcinoma was seen in 33% (n = 7) patients and 4% patients (n = 1 each) presented as osteosarcoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour respectively. The mean MSTS score in patients with weight bearing areas (location) is statistically significant (p = 0.031). There is a significant correlation between the surgical complications and follow up MSTS score (p = 0.046) which signifies that flap related complications result in lower MSTS score. The mean MSTS score was 22.71/30. Complications were observed in three cases which included partial flap necrosis, graft loss and foot stiffness. Simple skin grafts to local flaps maybe a viable option in a limited resource setting based on the location of defect. Free tissue transfer is the ideal choice in case of weight bearing areas to achieve acceptable outcomes.

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Correspondence to Rohan Doke.

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Boro, S., Doke, R., Purkayastha, J. et al. Reconstruction and Outcome of Foot Defects Following Oncological Resection-Experience from a Cancer Centre in North-East India. Indian J Surg Oncol (2022).

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  • Foot malignancy
  • Reconstruction
  • MSTS