Malignant proximal fibular tumors: Surgical management of 112 cases

Matthew P. Abdel, Panayiotis J. Papagelopoulos, Mark E. Morrey, Carrie Y. Inwards, Doris E. Wenger, Peter S. Rose, Franklin H. Sim

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16 Scopus citations


Background: Malignant tumors of the proximal part of the fibula are rare. We sought to analyze the presenting characteristics, postoperative complications, and local recurrences of malignant tumors in the proximal part of the fibula in a large series of patients. Methods: We identified 112 histologically confirmed malignant tumors of the proximal part of the fibula from the time period between 1910 and 2007. The sex ratio was nearly equal (fifty-four male, fifty-eight female). The average age of the patients was 27.6 years, and the average follow-up period was 5.7 years. Results: Osteosarcoma (44%) was the most common diagnosis. Pain (86%), palpable mass (51%), and peroneal nerve symptoms (12%) were the most common presenting symptoms. One hundred and three (92%) of 112 underwent curative surgical treatment. The two most common procedures were amputation in fifty (45%) of 112 patients and Malawer type-II resection in twenty-four (21%) of 112 patients. Deliberative sacrifice of the peroneal nerve was performed in seventy-four patients (66%). Postoperative complications occurred in fourteen (12.5%) of 112 patients, including wound issues (ten of 112), peroneal nerve palsy despite nerve preservation (two of twenty-nine), and posterior tibial artery thrombosis (two of 112). No long-term knee instability was seen in the fifty-three patients who underwent resection with lateral collateral ligament reconstruction. Fifty-six patients (50%) developed distant metastases and twelve (11%) had local recurrences. Conclusions: Osteosarcomas are the most common malignant tumor of the proximal fibula. Complication rates are modest and long-term knee instability was not seen in patients undergoing reconstruction of the lateral collateral ligament. Local recurrence following resection is not uncommon and metastatic dissemination is the main cause of death. This series represents the largest collection of such tumors for which there is extended follow-up and data on surgical complications. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e165(1)
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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