Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 139, Issue 7, pp 913–920 | Cite as

High complication and revision rates after total femoral replacement: a retrospective single center analysis of indication, function, and complication

  • T. GraulichEmail author
  • D. Steimer
  • D. Zhang
  • M. Omar
  • S. Weber-Spickschen
  • C. Krettek
  • M. Panzica
Orthopaedic Surgery



Total femoral replacement (TFR) is a limb salvage procedure performed for large bony defects. However, it is often associated with major complications and reduced function. Data on limb preservation rates and functional outcomes after TFR are limited. The primary objective of this study is to assess indications, functional outcomes, and complications after TFR.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively analyzed all patients after TFR between 2006 and 2016. All patients received a modular mega endoprosthesis (MUTARS®). Patients were grouped according to their initial indication for TFR: (1) fracture, (2) tumor, or (3) infection. We evaluated (i) patient survival, (ii) postoperative function with the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society Score (MSTS), knee strength, range of motion, and (iii) complications.


Between 2006 and 2016, TFR was performed in 22 patients with a mean age of 64 +/−17 years. Indications for TFR were tumor (n = 6), infection (n = 8) and fracture (n = 8). The mean follow-up (f/up) was 18 months. At final follow-up, mean MSTS was 24%. Mean knee flexion strength was reduced 63% compared to the contralateral leg (p = 0.004). At time of final f/up, 5 patients (22%) died, 5 (22%) underwent secondary hip exarticulation, and 12 (54%) suffered a major complication. At f/up, 11 patients had infections. Of these 11 patients, 5 died, 4 were treated with debridement, and 5 were treated with hip exarticulation. Fifteen patients survived with preserved limbs at f/up.


TFR is a salvage procedure with limited functional outcome and high complication rates. Nevertheless, the majority of our cohort could be treated successfully with limb salvage.


Total femoral replacement Outcome Indication Function Complication 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trauma DepartmentHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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