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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 100-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1626 - 1632
1 Dec 2018
Medellin MR Fujiwara T Tillman RM Jeys LM Gregory J Stevenson JD Parry M Abudu A


The aim of this paper was to investigate the prognostic factors for local recurrence in patients with pathological fracture through giant cell tumours of bone (GCTB).

Patients and Methods

A total of 107 patients presenting with fractures through GCTB treated at our institution (Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom) between 1995 and 2016 were retrospectively studied. Of these patients, 57 were female (53%) and 50 were male (47%).The mean age at diagnosis was 33 years (14 to 86). A univariate analysis was performed, followed by multivariate analysis to identify risk factors based on the treatment and clinical characteristics.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 100-B, Issue 3 | Pages 370 - 377
1 Mar 2018
Gilg MM Gaston CL Jeys L Abudu A Tillman RM Stevenson JD Grimer RJ Parry MC


The use of a noninvasive growing endoprosthesis in the management of primary bone tumours in children is well established. However, the efficacy of such a prosthesis in those requiring a revision procedure has yet to be established. The aim of this series was to present our results using extendable prostheses for the revision of previous endoprostheses.

Patients and Methods

All patients who had a noninvasive growing endoprosthesis inserted at the time of a revision procedure were identified from our database. A total of 21 patients (seven female patients, 14 male) with a mean age of 20.4 years (10 to 41) at the time of revision were included. The indications for revision were mechanical failure, trauma or infection with a residual leg-length discrepancy. The mean follow-up was 70 months (17 to 128). The mean shortening prior to revision was 44 mm (10 to 100). Lengthening was performed in all but one patient with a mean lengthening of 51 mm (5 to 140).

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 100-B, Issue 2 | Pages 247 - 255
1 Feb 2018
Albergo JI Gaston CLL Parry MC Laitinen MK Jeys LM Tillman RM Abudu AT Grimer RJ


The aim of this study was to analyse a group of patients with non-metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma at presentation and identify prognostic factors affecting the development of local recurrence, in order to assess the role of radiotherapy.

Patients and Methods

A retrospective review of all patients with a Ewing’s sarcoma treated between 1980 and 2012 was carried out. Only those treated with chemotherapy followed by surgery and/or radiotherapy were included. Patients were grouped according to site (central or limb) for further analysis of the prognostic factors.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 98-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1697 - 1703
1 Dec 2016
Gilg MM Gaston CL Parry MC Jeys L Abudu A Tillman RM Carter SR Grimer RJ


Extendible endoprostheses have been available for more than 30 years and have become more sophisticated with time. The latest generation is ‘non-invasive’ and can be lengthened with an external magnetic force. Early results have shown a worryingly high rate of complications such as infection. This study investigates the incidence of complications and the need for further surgery in a cohort of patients with a non-invasive growing endoprosthesis.

Patients and Methods

Between 2003 and June 2014, 50 children (51 prostheses) had a non-invasive growing prosthesis implanted for a primary bone sarcoma. The minimum follow-up was 24 months for those who survived. Their mean age was 10.4 years (6 to 14). The incidence of complications and further surgery was documented.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 2 | Pages 252 - 257
1 Feb 2015
Wafa H Grimer RJ Reddy K Jeys L Abudu A Carter SR Tillman RM

We conducted a case-control study to examine the merit of silver-coated tumour prostheses. We reviewed 85 patients with Agluna-treated (silver-coated) tumour implants treated between 2006 and 2011 and matched them with 85 control patients treated between 2001 and 2011 with identical, but uncoated, tumour prostheses.

In all, 106 men and 64 women with a mean age of 42.2 years (18.4 to 90.4) were included in the study. There were 50 primary reconstructions (29.4%); 79 one-stage revisions (46.5%) and 41 two-stage revisions for infection (24.1%).

The overall post-operative infection rate of the silver-coated group was 11.8% compared with 22.4% for the control group (p = 0.033, chi-square test). A total of seven of the ten infected prostheses in the silver-coated group were treated successfully with debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention compared with only six of the 19 patients (31.6%) in the control group (p = 0.048, chi-square test). Three patients in the silver-coated group (3.5%) and 13 controls (15.3%) had chronic periprosthetic infection (p = 0.009, chi-square test).

The overall success rates in controlling infection by two-stage revision in the silver-coated group was 85% (17/20) compared with 57.1% (12/21) in the control group (p = 0.05, chi-square test). The Agluna-treated endoprostheses were associated with a lower rate of early periprosthetic infection. These silver-treated implants were particularly useful in two-stage revisions for infection and in those patients with incidental positive cultures at the time of implantation of the prosthesis.

Debridement with antibiotic treatment and retention of the implant appeared to be more successful with silver-coated implants.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:252–7.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 1 | Pages 115 - 120
1 Jan 2015
Reddy KIA Wafa H Gaston CL Grimer RJ Abudu AT Jeys LM Carter SR Tillman RM

A poor response to chemotherapy (≤ 90% necrosis) for osteosarcomas leads to poorer survival and an increased risk of local recurrence, particularly if there is a close margin of excision. We evaluated whether amputation confers any survival benefit over limb salvage surgery (LSS) with narrow margins in patients who respond poorly to chemotherapy.

We only analysed patients with an osteosarcoma of the limb, a poor response to chemotherapy and close margins on LSS (marginal/intralesional) or primary amputation: 360 patients (36 LSS (intralesional margins), 197 LSS (marginal margins) and 127 amputations) were included. Local recurrence developed in 13 (36%) following LSS with intralesional margins, and 39 (20%) following LSS with marginal margins. There was no local recurrence in patients who underwent amputation. The five-year survival for all patients was 41% (95% confidence interval (CI) 35 to 46), but for those treated by LSS with marginal margins was 46.2% (95% CI 38 to 53), 36.3% (95% CI 27 to 45) for those treated by amputation, and 28% (95 CI 14 to 44) for those treated by LSS with intralesional margins. Patients who had LSS and then developed local recurrence as a first event had the same survival as those who had primary amputation without local recurrence. Prophylactic adjuvant radiotherapy was used in 40 patients but had no discernible effect in preventing local recurrence.

Although amputation offered better local control, it conferred no clear survival benefit over LSS with marginal margins in these patients with a poor overall prognosis.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:115–20.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 10 | Pages 1404 - 1410
1 Oct 2014
Wafa H Grimer RJ Jeys L Abudu AT Carter SR Tillman RM

The aim of this study was to evaluate the functional and oncological outcome of extracorporeally irradiated autografts used to reconstruct the pelvis after a P1/2 internal hemipelvectomy.

The study included 18 patients with a primary malignant bone tumour of the pelvis. There were 13 males and five females with a mean age of 24.8 years (8 to 62). Of these, seven had an osteogenic sarcoma, six a Ewing’s sarcoma, and five a chondrosarcoma. At a mean follow-up of 51.6 months (4 to 185), nine patients had died with metastatic disease while nine were free from disease. Local recurrence occurred in three patients all of whom eventually died of their disease. Deep infection occurred in three patients and required removal of their graft in two while the third underwent a hindquarter amputation for extensive flap necrosis.

The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society functional score of the 16 patients who could be followed-up for at least 12 months was 77% (50 to 90). Those 15 patients who completed the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score questionnaire had a mean score of 71% (53 to 85).

Extracorporeal irradiation and re-implantation of bone is a valid method of reconstruction after an internal hemipelvectomy. It has an acceptable morbidity and a functional outcome that compares favourably with other available reconstructive techniques.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:1404–10

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 1 | Pages 127 - 131
1 Jan 2014
Wijsbek AE Vazquez-Garcia BL Grimer RJ Carter SR Abudu AA Tillman RM Jeys L

The purpose of this study was to assess whether the use of a joint-sparing technique such as curettage and grafting was successful in eradicating giant cell tumours of the proximal femur, or whether an alternative strategy was more appropriate.

Between 1974 and 2012, 24 patients with a giant cell tumour of the proximal femur were treated primarily at our hospital. Treatment was either joint sparing or joint replacing. Joint-sparing treatment was undertaken in ten patients by curettage with or without adjunctive bone graft. Joint replacement was by total hip replacement in nine patients and endoprosthetic replacement in five. All 11 patients who presented with a pathological fracture were treated by replacement.

Local recurrence occurred in five patients (21%): two were treated by hip replacement, three by curettage and none with an endoprosthesis. Of the ten patients treated initially by curettage, six had a successful outcome without local recurrence and required no further surgery. Three eventually needed a hip replacement for local recurrence and one an endoprosthetic replacement for mechanical failure. Thus 18 patients had the affected joint replaced and only six (25%) retained their native joint. Overall, 60% of patients without a pathological fracture who were treated with curettage had a successful outcome.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:127–31.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1139 - 1143
1 Aug 2013
Nakamura T Grimer RJ Carter SR Tillman RM Abudu A Jeys L Sudo A

We evaluated the risk of late relapse and further outcome in patients with soft-tissue sarcomas who were alive and event-free more than five years after initial treatment. From our database we identified 1912 patients with these pathologies treated between 1980 and 2006. Of these 1912 patients, 603 were alive and event-free more than five years after initial treatment and we retrospectively reviewed them. The mean age of this group was 48 years (4 to 94) and 340 were men. The mean follow-up was 106 months (60 to 336). Of the original cohort, 582 (97%) were alive at final follow-up. The disease-specific survival was 96.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 94.4 to 98.3) at ten years and 92.9% (95% CI 89 to 96.8) at 15 years. The rate of late relapse was 6.3% (38 of 603). The ten- and 15-year event-free rates were 93.2% (95% CI 90.8 to 95.7) and 86.1% (95% CI 80.2 to 92.1), respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that tumour size and tumour grade remained independent predictors of events. In spite of further treatment, 19 of the 38 patients died of sarcoma. The three- and five-year survival rates after the late relapse were 56.2% (95% CI 39.5 to 73.3) and 43.2% (95% CI 24.7 to 61.7), respectively, with a median survival time of 46 months. Patients with soft-tissue sarcoma, especially if large, require long-term follow-up, especially as they have moderate potential to have their disease controlled.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:1139–43.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 1 | Pages 127 - 131
1 Jan 2013
Grimer RJ Chandrasekar CR Carter SR Abudu A Tillman RM Jeys L

A total of 157 hindquarter amputations were carried out in our institution during the last 30 years. We have investigated the reasons why this procedure is still required and the outcome. This operation was used as treatment for 13% of all pelvic bone sarcomas. It was curative in 140 and palliative in 17, usually to relieve pain. There were 90 primary procedures (57%) with the remaining 67 following the failure of previous operations to control the disease locally. The indication for amputation in primary disease was for large tumours for which limb-salvage surgery was no longer feasible. The peri-operative mortality was 1.3% (n = 2) and major complications of wound healing or infection arose in 71 (45%) patients. The survival at five years after hindquarter amputation with the intent to cure was 45%, and at ten years 38%. Local recurrence occurred in 23 patients (15%). Phantom pain was a significant problem, and only 20% used their prosthesis regularly. Functional scores were a mean of 57%. With careful patient selection the oncological results and functional outcomes of hindquarter amputation justify its continued use.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:127–31.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1282 - 1287
1 Sep 2012
Mottard S Grimer RJ Abudu A Carter SR Tillman RM Jeys L Spooner D

The purpose of this study was to assess the outcome of 15 patients (mean age 13.6 years (7 to 25)) with a primary sarcoma of the tibial diaphysis who had undergone excision of the affected segment that was then irradiated (90 Gy) and reimplanted with an ipsilateral vascularised fibular graft within it.

The mean follow-up was 57 months (22 to 99). The mean time to full weight-bearing was 23 weeks (9 to 57) and to complete radiological union 42.1 weeks (33 to 55). Of the 15 patients, seven required a further operation, four to obtain skin cover. The mean Musculoskeletal Society Tumor Society functional score at final follow-up was 27 out of 30 once union was complete. The functional results were comparable with those of allograft reconstruction and had a similar rate of complication.

We believe this to be a satisfactory method of biological reconstruction of the tibial diaphysis in selected patients.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 2 | Pages 265 - 269
1 Feb 2012
Hwang N Grimer RJ Carter SR Tillman RM Abudu A Jeys LM

We reviewed our initial seven-year experience with a non-invasive extendible prosthesis in 34 children with primary bone tumours. The distal femur was replaced in 25 cases, total femur in five, proximal femur in one and proximal tibia in three. The mean follow-up was 44 months (15 to 86) and 27 patients (79%) remain alive. The prostheses were lengthened by an electromagnetic induction mechanism in an outpatient setting and a mean extension of 32 mm (4 to 80) was achieved without anaesthesia. There were lengthening complications in two children: failed lengthening in one and the formation of scar tissue in the other. Deep infection developed in six patients (18%) and local recurrence in three. A total of 11 patients required further surgery to the leg. Amputation was necessary in five patients (20%) and a two-stage revision in another. There were no cases of loosening, but two patients had implant breakage and required revision. The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society functional score was 85% (60% to 100%) at last known follow-up. These early results demonstrate that the non-invasive extendible prosthesis allows successful lengthening without surgical intervention, but the high incidence of infection is a cause for concern.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1665 - 1669
1 Dec 2011
Gaston CL Bhumbra R Watanuki M Abudu AT Carter SR Jeys LM Tillman RM Grimer RJ

We retrospectively compared the outcome after the treatment of giant cell tumours of bone either with curettage alone or with adjuvant cementation. Between 1975 and 2008, 330 patients with a giant cell tumour were treated primarily by intralesional curettage, with 84 (25%) receiving adjuvant bone cement in the cavity. The local recurrence rate for curettage alone was 29.7% (73 of 246) compared with 14.3% (12 of 84) for curettage and cementation (p = 0.001). On multivariate analysis both the stage of disease and use of cement were independent significant factors associated with local recurrence. The use of cement was associated with a higher risk of the subsequent need for joint replacement. In patients without local recurrence, 18.1% (13 of 72) of those with cement needed a subsequent joint replacement compared to 2.3% (4 of 173) of those without cement (p = 0.001). In patients who developed local recurrence, 75.0% (9 of 12) of those with previous cementation required a joint replacement, compared with 45.2% (33 of 73) of those without cement (p = 0.044).

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1271 - 1278
1 Sep 2011
Pakos EE Grimer RJ Peake D Spooner D Carter SR Tillman RM Abudu S Jeys L

We aimed to identify the incidence, outcome and prognostic factors associated with spindle cell sarcomas of bone (SCSB). We studied 196 patients with a primary non-metastatic tumour treated with the intent to cure. The results were compared with those of osteosarcoma patients treated at our hospital during the same period. The overall incidence of SCSB was 7.8% of all patients with a primary bone sarcoma. The five- and ten-year survival rates were 67.0% and 60.0%, respectively, which were better than those of patients with osteosarcoma treated over the same period. All histological subtypes had similar outcomes. On univariate analysis, factors that were significantly associated with decreased survival were age > 40 years, size > 8 cm, the presence of a pathological fracture, amputation, involved margins and a poor response to pre-operative chemotherapy. Multivariate analyses showed that age > 65 years, amputation and involved margins were all statistically significant prognostic factors. Involved margins and poor response to pre-operative chemotherapy were associated with an increased risk of local recurrence. SCSB has a better prognosis than osteosarcoma when matched for age. Most prognostic factors for osteosarcoma also seem to apply to SCSB. Patients with SCSB should be treated in the same way as patients of the same age with osteosarcoma.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 7 | Pages 980 - 983
1 Jul 2011
Malhas AM Grimer RJ Abudu A Carter SR Tillman RM Jeys L

We investigated the eventual diagnosis in patients referred to a tertiary centre with a possible diagnosis of a primary bone malignancy.

We reviewed our database from between 1986 and 2010, during which time 5922 patients referred with a suspicious bone lesion had a confirmed diagnosis. This included bone sarcoma in 2205 patients (37%), benign bone tumour in 1309 (22%), orthopaedic conditions in 992 (17%), metastatic disease in 533 (9%), infection in 289 (5%) and haematological disease in 303 (5%). There was a similar frequency of all diagnoses at different ages except for metastatic disease. Only 0.6% of patients (17 of 2913) under the age of 35 years had metastatic disease compared with 17.1% (516 of 3009) of those over 35 years (p < 0.0001). Of the 17 patients under 35 years with metastatic disease, only four presented with an isolated lesion, had no past history of cancer and were systematically well.

Patients under the age of 35 years should have suitable focal imaging (plain radiography, CT or MRI) and simple systemic studies (blood tests and chest radiography). Reduction of the time to biopsy can be achieved by avoiding an unnecessary investigation for a primary tumour to rule out metastatic disease.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 5 | Pages 684 - 688
1 May 2011
Fisher NE Patton JT Grimer RJ Porter D Jeys L Tillman RM Abudu A Carter SR

Endoprosthetic replacement of the pelvis is one of the most challenging types of limb-salvage surgery, with a high rate of complications. In an attempt to reduce this and build greater versatility into the reconstruction process, a new type of pelvic endoprosthesis was developed in 2003, based on the old McKee-Farrar prosthesis. This study reviews the outcomes in 27 patients who had an ice-cream cone pelvic prosthesis inserted at two different specialist bone tumour centres in the United Kingdom over the past six years. The indications for treatment included primary bone tumours in 19 patients and metastatic disease in two, and six implants were inserted following failure of a previous pelvic reconstruction. Most of the patients had a P2+P3 resection as classified by Enneking, and most had resection of the ilium above the sciatic notch. The mean age of the patients at operation was 49 years (13 to 81). Complications occurred in ten patients (37.0%), of which dislocation was the most common, affecting four patients (14.8%). A total of three patients (11.1%) developed a deep infection around the prosthesis but all were successfully controlled by early intervention and two patients (7.4%) developed a local recurrence, at the same time as widespread metastases appeared. In one patient the prosthesis was removed for severe pain.

This method of treatment is still associated with high morbidity, but early results are promising. Complications are diminishing with increasing experience.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 5 | Pages 708 - 710
1 May 2011
Gaston CL Tillman RM Grimer RJ

We report a case of spontaneous physeal growth arrest of the distal femur in a nine-year-old child with Ewing’s sarcoma of the proximal femur treated with chemotherapy and endoprosthetic replacement. Owing to the extent of disuse osteoporosis at the time of surgery, the entire intramedullary canal up to the distal femoral physis was filled with cement. Three years later, the femur remained at its pre-operative length of 19 cm. Pre-operative calculations of further growth failed to account for the growth arrest, and the initial expandable growing prosthesis inserted has been revised to a longer one in order to address the leg-length discrepancy.

To our knowledge, this is the only reported case of distal femoral physeal growth arrest following cemented endoprosthetic replacement of the proximal femur.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 4 | Pages 531 - 536
1 Apr 2011
Pradhan A Grimer RJ Spooner D Peake D Carter SR Tillman RM Abudu A Jeys L

The aim of this study was to identify whether there was any difference in patient, tumour, treatment or outcome characteristics between patients with skeletal or extra-skeletal Ewing’s sarcoma. We identified 300 patients with new primary Ewing’s sarcoma diagnosed between 1980 and 2005 from the centres’ local database. There were 253 (84%) with skeletal and 47 (16%) with extra-skeletal Ewing’s sarcomas. Although patients with skeletal Ewing’s were younger (mean age 16.8 years) than those with extra-skeletal Ewing’s sarcoma (mean age 27.5 years), there was little difference between the groups in terms of tumour stage or treatment. Nearly all the patients were treated with chemotherapy and most had surgery. There was no difference in the overall survival of patients with skeletal (64%) and extra-skeletal Ewing’s sarcoma (61%) (p = 0.85), and this was also the case when both groups were split by whether they had metastases or not.

This large series has shown that the oncological outcomes of Ewing’s sarcoma are related to tumour characteristics and patient age, and not determined by whether they arise in bone or soft tissue.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1083 - 1085
1 Aug 2009
Abed R Grimer RJ Carter SR Tillman RM Abudu A Jeys L

In our database of 7935 patients referred for investigation of a soft-tissue mass, only 100 were found to have a soft-tissue metastasis (1.3%). Our aim was to define the clinical features of such patients and to identify the site of their primary tumour.

The most common presentation was a painful lump, deep to the fascia, ranging between 2 cm and 35 cm (mean 8.3 cm) with 78% of the lumps located deep to the fascia. The mean age of the patients at presentation was 64 years (22 to 84) and there were almost equal numbers of men and women. Of 53 patients with a history of malignancy, 52 had metastases from the same primary (lung in 12, melanoma in ten, kidney in nine, gastrointestinal track in four, breast in five, bladder in four, and others in eight). The other 47 had no history of malignancy and the metastasis was the first presentation. The primary sites in these cases were the lung in 19, gastro-intestinal track in four, kidney in two, melanoma in nine, other in three, and unknown (despite investigations) in ten. There was no correlation between the site of the metastases and the primary tumour.

Of the 7935 patients, 516 had a history of malignancy. Of these, only 10% had a soft-tissue metastasis, 29% had a benign diagnosis, 55% a soft-tissue sarcoma and 6% another malignancy. Patients with soft-tissue metastases have similar clinical features to those with soft-tissue sarcomas and should be considered for assessment at appropriate diagnostic centres for patients with suspicious soft-tissue lumps.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 3 | Pages 401 - 404
1 Mar 2009
Chandrasekar CR Grimer RJ Carter SR Tillman RM Abudu A Jeys LM

We undertook a cemental unipolar proximal femoral endoprosthetic replacement in 131 patients with a mean age of 50 years (2 to 84). Primary malignant tumours were present in 54 patients and 67 had metastatic disease. In addition, eight patients had either lymphoma or myeloma and two had non-oncological disorders. The mean follow-up was 27 months (0 to 180). An acetabular revision was required later in 14 patients, 12 of whom had been under the age of 21 years at the time of insertion of their original prosthesis. The risk of acetabular revision in patients over 21 years of age was 8% at five years compared with 36% in those aged under 21 years. All the unipolar hips in this younger age group required revision within 11 years of the initial operation.

We conclude that unipolar replacement should not be used in younger patients and should be avoided in patients with a life expectancy of more than five years.