Relationship between surgical margins and local recurrence in sarcomas of the spine

Robert Talac, Michael J. Yaszemski, Bradford L. Currier, Bruno Fuchs, Mark B. Dekutoski, Choll W. Kim, Franklin H. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The combination of improved resection, stabilization, and fusion techniques allows for more aggressive removal of malignant spinal tumors with acceptable mortality and morbidity. Thirty consecutive patients with primary sarcomas of the mobile spine, who were operated on at the authors' institution from January 1970 to December 2000, were included in the current study. Demographic information, tumor location, type of resection, resection margins, local recurrence, and overall survival data were retrieved and analyzed. Treatment consisted of en bloc resection in 12 patients (40 %) and piecemeal resections in 18 patients (60 %). The resection was classified as wide in seven patients (23.3 %), marginal in three patients (10%), and intralesional in 20 patients (66.7%). Pathology reports showed tumor-free resection margins in 12 patients (40 %). In the remaining 18 patients (60%), resection margins were positive and resulted in a fivefold increase in the risk of a local recurrence. Ninety-two percent of the patients with local recurrence died of sequelae associated with the local recurrence. Primary sarcomas of the mobile spine in certain cases, can be removed completely with tumor-free resection margins. En bloc resection with tumor-free margins provides substantial improvement in overall survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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