J Reconstr Microsurg 2019; 35(02): 156-162
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1668142
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Use of Vascularized Fibular Free Flap in the Reconstruction of the Femur in Pediatric and Adolescent Bone Sarcomas: Complications and Functional Outcome

Ahmed Mohamed el Ghoneimy
1  Department of Orthopedic, Children's Cancer Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
Magdy El Sherbiny
1  Department of Orthopedic, Children's Cancer Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
Nehal Kamal
1  Department of Orthopedic, Children's Cancer Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

05 November 2017

27 June 2018

Publication Date:
18 August 2018 (online)


Background Most reports on skeletal reconstruction using vascularized fibular free flap include patients with varying age groups and anatomic locations. This study has limited the inclusion criteria to pediatric and adolescent patients diagnosed with bone sarcoma of the femoral shaft.

Methods Forty-one patients, diagnosed with a malignant bone tumor of the femoral shaft (21 Ewing's sarcomas and 20 osteosarcomas), were locally treated by joint sparing wide resection and reconstruction using a vascularized fibular free flap. All clinical and radiographic data were reviewed for graft healing and hypertrophy as well as oncologic and functional outcome.

Results The mean follow-up period was 48.7 months (12–104 months). The mean age at presentation was 10.3 years (5–17 years). The average length of the resected femoral shaft was 19.2 cm (15–24 cm) and the average length of the harvested fibula was 17.4 cm (15–21 cm). The mean time to union was 4.8 months (1–6 months) and the mean hypertrophy index was 78% (15.5–184%). Complications included 12 fractures (33.3%), 5 non-unions (13.8%), and 5 failures of graft hypertrophy (13.8%). At the latest clinical evaluation, the mean MSTS score was 81% (56–100%) and the mean limb length inequality was 4.75 cm (3–11 cm).

Conclusion Despite the high functional demand and deleterious effect of chemotherapy on bone healing, reconstruction of the femur by vascularized fibular free flap in pediatric bone sarcomas can lead to a good functional outcome. Complications, such as fracture and non-union, can be successfully treated by revision of fixation and autologous iliac crest grafting.

Level of Evidence IV.