Aims: Pelvic bone sarcomas in children and young adults are rare, and associated with a poor prognosis and a high rate of local recurrence. Primary goals of treatment include prevention of local recurrence and distant metastases. A secondary goal is maintenance of quality of life by avoiding major amputative surgery. This is why internal hemipelvectomy (a limb-sparing surgery) is advocated whenever possible. The focus of our presentation is surgical issues in the context of resection and reconstruction of the pelvis in the first two decades of life. Materials and Methods: Between January 1988 and June 1998, 27 patients were treated and operated on (follow-up time 1.5-12 years). There were 17 males and 10 females. Their age ranged between 2 and 22 years. There were 24 patients with Ewing's sarcoma (ES) and three with other bone sarcomas. In 19 patients the tumour involved the entire or part of the iliac bone tin some cases with extension to the sacrum). In five patients the tumour involved the pubis and/or ischium. In three patients the tumour involved the sacrum with some extension to the posterior iliac bone. All patients received neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy with different protocols (related to the origin of referral). Results: Twenty-seven patients underwent internal hemipelvectomy. According to Enneking's classification there were: type 1 - 10; type II - one; type III - six; type IV - five (including one localized sacrectomy); type I + IV - five patients. In 15 patients some kind of reconstruction was needed and in 12 no reconstruction was done. Four wound infections occurred that were managed successfully by surgical debridement, antibiotics and local wound care. In one case, removal of the 'implant' was needed. No primary or secondary amputations were performed in the series. The rate of local recurrence was 22%. Functional status at the last follow-up visit or before death, according to the AMSTS functional rating system: excellent - six; good - 17; fair - three and poor - one. All patients except the one poor result maintained their walking ability during the follow-up time. Conclusions: Internal hemipelvectomy is achievable in most cases and justified far better quality of life in children, adolescents and young adults with sarcomas. Further efforts are needed to improve the reconstructive options in the pelvis.
- Internal hemipelvectomy