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Physical functioning, pain and quality of life after amputation for musculoskeletal tumours: a national survey

Lookup NU author(s): Sherron Furtado, Craig Gerrand


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Patients who have limb amputation for musculoskeletal tumours are a rare group of cancer survivors. This was a prospective cross-sectional survey of patients from five specialist centres for sarcoma surgery in England. Physical function, pain and quality of life (QOL) outcomes were collected after lower extremity amputation for bone or soft-tissue tumours to evaluate the survivorship experience and inform service provision.Of 250 patients, 105 (42%) responded between September 2012 and June 2013. From these, completed questionnaires were received from 100 patients with a mean age of 53.6 years (19 to 91). In total 60 (62%) were male and 37 (38%) were female (three not specified). The diagnosis was primary bone sarcoma in 63 and soft-tissue tumour in 37. A total of 20 tumours were located in the hip or pelvis, 31 above the knee, 32 between the knee and ankle and 17 in the ankle or foot. In total 22 had hemipelvectomy, nine hip disarticulation, 35 transfemoral amputation, one knee disarticulation, 30 transtibial amputation, two toe amputations and one rotationplasty. The Toronto Extremity Salvage Score (TESS) differed by amputation level, with poorer scores at higher levels (p < 0.001). Many reported significant pain. In addition, TESS was negatively associated with increasing age, and pain interference scores. QOL for Cancer Survivors was significantly correlated with TESS (p < 0.001). This relationship appeared driven by pain interference scores.This unprecedented national survey confirms amputation level is linked to physical function, but not QOL or pain measures. Pain and physical function significantly impact on QOL. These results are helpful in managing the expectations of patients about treatment and addressing their complex needs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Furtado S, Grimer RJ, Cool P, Murray SA, Briggs T, Fulton J, Grant K, Gerrand CH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bone & Joint Journal

Year: 2015

Volume: 97B

Issue: 9

Pages: 1284-1290

Online publication date: 01/09/2015

Acceptance date: 15/05/2015

ISSN (print): 2049-4394

ISSN (electronic): 2049-4408

Publisher: British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery


DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.97B9.35192

PubMed id: 26330598


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