Surgical treatment of sacral metastases: Indications and results: Clinical article

Iman Feiz-Erfan, Benjamin D. Fox, Remi Nader, Dima Suki, Indro Chakrabarti, Ehud Mendel, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Ganesh Rao, Laurence D. Rhines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Object. Hematogenous metastases to the sacrum can produce significant pain and lead to spinal instability. The object of this study was to evaluate the palliative benefit of surgery in patients with these metastases. Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases involving patients undergoing surgery for metastatic disease to the sacrum at a single tertiary cancer center between 1993 and 2005. Results. Twenty-five patients (21 men, 4 women) were identified as having undergone sacral surgery for hematogenous metastatic disease during the study period. Their median age was 57 years (range 25-71 years). The indications for surgery included palliation of pain (in 24 cases), need for diagnosis (in 1 case), and spinal instability (in 3 cases). The most common primary disease was renal cell carcinoma. Complications occurred in 10 patients (40%). The median overall survival was 11 months (95% CI 5.4-16.6 months). The median time from the initial diagnosis to the diagnosis of metastatic disease in the sacrum was 14 months (95% CI 0.0-29.3 months). The numerical pain scores (scale 0-10) were improved from a median of 8 preoperatively to a median of 3 postoperatively at 90 days, 6 months, and 1 year (p < 0.01). Postoperative modified Frankel grades improved in 8 cases, worsened in 3 (due to disease progression), and remained unchanged in 14 (p = 0.19). Among patients with renal cell carcinoma, the median overall survival was better in those in whom the sacrum was the sole site of metastatic disease than in those with multiple sites of metastatic disease (16 vs 9 months, respectively; p = 0.053). Conclusions. Surgery is effective to palliate pain with acceptable morbidity in patients with metastatic disease to the sacrum. In the subgroup of patients with renal cell carcinoma, those with the sacrum as their solitary site of metastatic disease demonstrated improved survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Metastasis
  • Oncology
  • Sacrum
  • Stabilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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