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The aim of the study was to assess (1) sports activity, (2) sports involving the upper extremities, (3) functional outcome and (4) sports-related complications of long-term survivors of primary malignant bone tumors of the proximal humerus.
A total of 18 patients with an endoprosthetic reconstruction for primary malignant bone sarcoma of the proximal humerus (8 male, 10 female, mean age 19.9 ± 8.4 years, range 7.8–37.4 years) with an average follow-up of 18.1 ± 7.4 years (range 6.7–29.8 years) were included. The type of sport, frequency, duration of each sport session and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) activity score were assessed before surgery, at 1 year, 3 years and at the latest follow-up. Functional outcome was assessed by the Toronto extremity salvage score (TESS).
The mean UCLA activity score decreased from 8.0 (±1.3, range 5–9) preoperative to 4.2 (±1.7, range 3–8) at 1‑year follow-up (p < 0.05). After 3 years it increased to 5.1 (±1.75, range 3–8) and further to 7 (±1.8, range 4–9) at the last follow-up. The mean postoperative TESS was 80.8 (±6.4, range 75.7–91.4) at the latest follow-up. Patients who were initially more active without reconstruction including a synthetic mesh were more likely to develop soft tissue complications accompanied by proximal endoprothesis migration.
Patients with a modular endoprosthetic reconstruction of the humerus following primary bone sarcoma resume participation in sports. Regarding the low incidence of periprosthetic infections, utilization of a synthetic mesh for reconstruction to prevent soft tissue complications in active patients should be considered.