Imaging appearances and clinical outcome following sacrectomy and ilio-lumbar reconstruction for sacral neoplasia

Marianna Thomas, A M Davies, A J Stirling, R J Grimer, M Grainger, Steven L J James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Sacrectomy and ilio-lumbar reconstruction is an uncommonly performed complex surgical procedure for the treatment of sacral neoplasia. There are many challenges in the post-operative period including the potential for tumor recurrence, infection, and construct failure. We present our experience of this patient cohort and describe the complications and imaging appearances that can be encountered during the follow-up period.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of our Orthopaedic Oncology database was undertaken which has been collected over a 30-year period to identify patients that had undergone sacrectomy and ilio-lumbar reconstruction. Pre and post-operative imaging including radiographs, CT, and MRI was reviewed. These were viewed by two experienced musculoskeletal radiologists with consensus opinion if there was disagreement over the imaging findings. Data regarding patient demographics, tumor type, and dimensions was collected. Serial review of radiographs, CT, and MRI was performed to assess implant position and integrity, strut graft position and union, and for the presence of recurrence within the surgical bed.

RESULTS: Five male and two female patients (mean age 36 years, age range 15-54 years) were treated with this procedure. Histological diagnoses included chordoma, chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and spindle cell sarcoma. Mean maximal tumor size on pre-operative imaging was 10.7 cm (range, 6-16 cm). Post-operative follow-up ranged from 10-46 months. A total of 76 imaging studies were reviewed. Commonly identified complications included vertical rod and cross-connector fracture and screw loosening. Fibula strut graft non-union and fracture was also evident on imaging review. Two patients demonstrated disease recurrence during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the spectrum and frequency of complications that can occur following sacrectomy and ilio-lumbar reconstruction for sacral neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-89
Number of pages11
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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