Concomitant upper extremity soft tissue sarcoma limb-sparing resection and functional reconstruction: Assessment of outcomes and costs of surgery

Gerhard S. Mundinger, Roni B. Prucz, Frank J. Frassica, E. Gene Deune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The purpose of this study is to investigate functional outcomes and cost impacts of immediate functional reconstruction performed in conjunction with limb-sparing resection of upper extremity soft tissue sarcomas. Methods: Patients undergoing simultaneous limb-sparing upper extremity soft tissue sarcoma resection and functional reconstruction between December 1998 and March 2004 were retrospectively identified, their medical records reviewed, and costs of surgery analyzed. Functional outcomes and patient satisfaction were assessed via patient surveys and the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score (TESS). Results: Thirteen patients met the inclusion criteria. Average follow-up was 43.3 months. Reconstructions included rotational innervated muscle flaps (n = 6), free innervated myocutaneous flaps (n = 1), and tendon transfers or grafts (n = 6). Overall survival was 85 % (n = 11) and disease-free survival was 77 % (n = 10). Average total cost of surgery was $26,655. Patients undergoing reconstruction for hand and forearm sarcomas had significantly higher total costs of surgery than those undergoing reconstruction for elbow and upper arm sarcomas. Survey response rate was 91 % (n = 10). Average TESS score was 76. Of the patients who worked preoperatively, 88 % returned to work postoperatively, and all patients who returned to work currently use their affected limb at work. Conclusions: Patients undergoing immediate functional reconstruction for upper extremity soft tissue sarcoma resection achieved very good to excellent functional outcomes with quick recovery times and a high return-to-work rate following immediate functional reconstruction, thereby minimizing surgical cost impacts. Immediate functional reconstruction in the same surgical setting is thus a viable strategy following upper extremity soft tissue sarcoma resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014



  • Cost analysis
  • Functional reconstruction
  • Sarcoma
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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