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Reconstruction using an autograft containing tumour treated by liquid nitrogen

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We describe a method of reconstruction using tumour-bearing autograft treated by liquid nitrogen in 28 patients. The operative technique consisted of en bloc excision of the tumour, removal of soft tissue, curettage of the tumour, drilling and preparation for internal fixation or prosthetic replacement before incubation for 20 minutes in liquid nitrogen, thawing at room temperature for 15 minutes, thawing in distilled water for ten minutes, and internal fixation with an intramedullary nail, plate or composite use of prosthetic replacement. Bone graft or cement was used to augment bone strength when necessary.

The limb function was rated as excellent in 20 patients (71.4%), good in three (10.7%), fair in three (10.7%), and poor in two (7.1%). At the final follow-up six patients had died at a mean of 19.8 months after the operation, while 21 remained free from disease with a mean follow-up of 28.1 months (10 to 54). One patient is alive with disease. Bony union was seen at a mean of 6.7 months after the operation in 26 patients. Complications were encountered in seven patients, including three deep infections, two fractures, and two local recurrences. All were managed successfully. Our results suggest that this is a simple and effective method of biological reconstruction.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr H. Tsuchiya; e-mail: tsuchi@med.kanazawa-u.ac.jp

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