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Cryoablation-aided joint retention surgery for epiphysis involvement in osteosarcoma compared with endoprosthetic replacement

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We have previously reported cryoablation-assisted joint-sparing surgery for osteosarcoma with epiphyseal involvement. However, it is not clear whether this is a comparable alternative to conventional joint arthroplasty in terms of oncological and functional outcomes.


A total of 22 patients who had localized osteosarcoma with epiphyseal involvement around the knee and underwent limb salvage surgery were allocated to joint preservation (JP) group and joint arthroplasty (JA) group. Subjects were followed with radiographs, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) score, and clinical evaluations at one, three, and five years postoperatively.


Patients in both groups (ten in JP and 12 in JA) did not differ in local recurrence (p ≥ 0.999) and occurrence of metastases (p ≥ 0.999). Overall survival was similar in both groups (p = 0.858). Patients in the JP group had less range of motion (ROM) of the knee (p < 0.001) and lower MSTS scores (p = 0.010) compared with those of the JA group only at one year postoperatively. There was no difference between groups either at three years for ROM (p = 0.185) and MSTS score (p = 0.678) or at five years for ROM (p = 0.687) and MSTS score (p = 0.536), postoperatively. Patients in the JA group tended to have more complications (p = 0.074). Survival of primary reconstruction in the JP group was better than that of the JA group (p = 0.030).


Cryoablation-aided joint-sparing surgery offers native joint preservation with comparable functional recovery and more durable reconstruction without jeopardizing oncological outcomes compared with conventional limb salvage surgery.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(8):1421–1427.

Correspondence should be sent to Zhen Wang. E-mail:

J. Li and Y. Lu contributed equally to this work.

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