Orthopedics. 2012 Feb 17;35(2):e232-43. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20120123-40.
Mavrogenis AF, Soultanis K, Patapis P, Guerra G, Fabbri N, Ruggieri P, Papagelopoulos PJ.
The complexity of pelvic anatomy and the extent of tumor growth makes treatment of patients with primary bone sarcomas in the pelvis difficult in terms of local control. Before the 1970s, most tumors in the bony pelvis were surgically treated with hindquarter amputation. Currently, improved techniques for clinical staging, adjuvant treatments, evolutions in metallurgy, and development of new surgical techniques make limb-salvage surgery and reconstruction possible alternatives to hemipelvectomy and resection-arthrodesis. The advantages of amputation over resections at the pelvis are a lower incidence of complications, a limited area at risk for recurrence, and a faster recovery time compared with all but the most limited pelvic resections. The disadvantages, especially after periacetabular resections, are leg-length discrepancy and impaired hip and gait function. The indication for limb salvage is the ability to obtain wide margins without compromising survival and function. Although having to resect the sciatic nerve to obtain adequate margins does not always mean that an amputation should be performed, the combination of a major pelvic resection and the functional consequences of sciatic nerve resection results in an extremity usually not worth saving; loss of femoral nerve function does not result in a significant gait disturbance, especially if the hemipelvis is stable. Reconstruction options after major pelvic resections have also evolved, but they remain difficult, especially when the acetabulum is involved.