Sciatic nerve resection: Is that truly an indication for amputation?

Jacob Bickels, James C. Wittig, Yehuda Kollender, Kristen Kellar-Graney, Martin M. Malawer, Isaac Meller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


En bloc resection of the sciatic nerve with an adjacent bone or soft tissue tumor has been assumed to be associated with a poor functional outcome and, therefore, was considered an indication for amputation. Although many surgical oncologists today challenge this assumption and do limb-sparing resection in these patients, a report of the functional outcome of a series of patients who had this procedure has not been published. Between 1991 and 1999, the authors treated 15 patients who had resection of the sciatic nerve. There were 10 females and five males, ranging in age from 2 to 73 years. Diagnoses included 11 high-grade soft tissue sarcomas, one primary bone sarcoma, and three metastatic bone tumors. Four lesions were located in the pelvis, one in the buttock, and 10 in the posterior thigh. At the most recent followup, 14 patients were ambulatory, seven of whom required a walking aid. Because of peroneal nerve palsy, all patients required a short-leg brace. However, overall function was determined to be good in 11, moderate in three, and poor in one patient. None had a pressure sore of the foot and none required a secondary amputation. Good function is achieved in most patients who have sciatic nerve resection. Therefore, the necessity to resect the sciatic nerve is not an indication for amputation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-204
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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