Long-term functional outcome and quality of life following rotationplasty for treatment of malignant tumors
Rotationplasty involves wide resection of lower-extremity malignancy and approximately 180° rotation of the tibia to allow the ankle to function similarly to the former knee joint. It is most commonly used for sarcomas around the knee, such as the distal femur and proximal tibia, in adolescent and young adult patients and is an option for patients with proximal femoral focal deficiency (congenital short femur). Rotationplasty is an alternative to ablative procedures when functional outcome is a consideration or when resection of involved areas and endoprosthetic reconstruction is not possible. This article describes functional status and return to competitive sport after rotationplasty for a lower-extremity bone sarcoma with 3-year follow-up. Despite a postoperative course complicated by a distal tibial physeal injury and femoral neck stress fracture, the patient recovered fully by 1 year postoperatively. Pain free at rest and with activity and with no loss of function, the patient is a successful athlete, playing basketball and baseball and skiing competitively. The patient used a custom-made prosthesis that likely played a role in his high level of function. The patient's high function is evidenced by a maximal or near-maximal possible score on all subsections of the Short Form 36 health survey. Although this level of function is exemplary, it may be more expected in younger, more active, highly motivated, and emotionally and socially mature individuals.