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The long-term outcome following the use of frozen autograft treated with liquid nitrogen in the management of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas

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In 1999, we developed a technique for biological reconstruction after excision of a bone tumour, which involved using autografts of the bone containing the tumour treated with liquid nitrogen. We have previously reported the use of this technique in 28 patients at a mean follow up of 27 months (10 to 54).

In this study, we included 72 patients who underwent reconstruction using this technique. A total of 33 patients died and three were lost to follow-up, at a mean of 23 months (2 to 56) post-operatively, leaving 36 patients available for a assessment at a mean of 101 months 16 to 163) post-operatively. The methods of reconstruction included an osteo-articular graft in 16, an intercalary in 13 and, a composite graft with prosthesis in seven.

Post-operative function was excellent in 26 patients (72.2%), good in seven (19.4%), and fair in three (8.3%) according to the functional evaluation system of Enneking. No recurrent tumour occurred within the grafts. The autografts survived in 29 patients (80.6%), and the rates of survival at five and ten years were 86.1% and 80.6 %, respectively. Seven of 16 osteo-articular grafts (44%) failed because of fracture or infection, but all the composite and intercalary grafts survived.

The long-term outcomes of frozen autografting, particularly using composite and intercalary grafts, are satisfactory and thus represent a good method of treatment for patients with a sarcoma of bone or soft tissue.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:555–61.

Correspondence should be sent to Prof Dr Med H. Tsuchiya; e-mail:

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