Primary tumors of the sartorial canal: Limb sparing resection of soft-tissue sarcomas arising in a unique location

Amir Sternheim*, Jacob Bickels, Tomer Ben-Tov, Martin M. Malawera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Extracompartmental soft-tissue sarcomas of the sartorial canal grow in a virtual space in close proximity to the superficialfemoral artery and vein and thus require a complex resection.This study was designed to assess the presentation pattern, preoperative evaluation and oncologic and functional outcomes.Methods We retrospectively analyzed 15 patients with primary sartorial canal sarcomas. Ten patients had low-grade and five had highgrade tumors. Median follow-up was 47 (range, 20-240) months.Results Limb-sparing surgery was achievable in all 15 patients. Only intra-operative evaluation accurately identified the three highgrade tumors that involved the vessels and necessitated vascular resection and reconstruction. Disease-free survival was 60% for high-grade (three of five) and 100% for low-grade sarcomas.There were no local recurrences. Functional outcome was excellent.Superficial delayed wound healing occurred in four patients.Conclusions Most sartorial canal tumors are malignant. Their proximity to the superficial artery and vein poses a threat of early vascular wall involvement only in high-grade lesions. These often necessitate vascular resection and have poor survival outcomes. Limb-sparing surgery can be achieved by respecting intact biological barriers such as the vessel sheath. Soft-tissue reconstruction protects the vessels from complications after surgery or radiation.Return to full function can be expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Orthopaedic Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adductor canal
  • Extra-compartmental
  • Hunter's canal
  • Soft-tissue sarcoma
  • Space tumors


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