Palliative major amputation and quality of life in cancer patients

Ofer Merimsky, Yehuda Kollender, Moshe Inbar, Samario Chaitchik, Isaac Meller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Limb sparing surgery has replaced the amputation surgery in the treatment of limb sarcomas. Recurrent or persistent disease constitutes a major problem. Local symptoms such as agonizing pain, fractures, tumor fungation, inability to walk and inability to maintain daily activities, Further impair the patient's quality of life. In this clinical set-up palliative amputation should be considered. Eighteen patients with soft-tissue or bone sarcomas and 3 patients with metastatic carcinoma underwent palliative major amputation. Hemipelvectomy was performed in 3 patients, hip disarticulation in 10, knee disarticulation or below-knee amputation in 3 patients, shoulder disarticulation in one patient and forequarter amputation in 4 patients. Local control of the disease and pain and improvement of the performance status were observed in 19 evaluable patients. The mobility was restored in 15 patients with lower limb surgery. The median survival following the procedure was 9 months. There was only one case of immediate post-operative death. Severe phantom pain was not reported by any of the patients. Quality of life was reported to be improved by two-thirds of the patients. To conclude, we have found palliative major amputation surgery worth performing in low-performance status cancer patients with locally advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


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