Microsurgery in musculoskeletal oncology

  • Vasileios A. KontogeorgakosEmail author
  • William C. Eward
  • Brian E. Brigman


Sarcomas are rare mesenchymal bone and soft tissue tumors of the musculoskeletal system. In the past, the primary treatment modality was amputation of the involved limb and the 5-year survival was very low for high-grade tumors. During the last three decades, limb salvage has become the rule rather than the exception and the use of neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapies (radiation and chemotherapy) has dramatically increased disease-free survival. Reconstruction of large bone and soft tissue defects, though, still remains a significant challenge in sarcoma patients. In particular, vascularized tissue transfer has proved extremely helpful in dealing with complex bone and soft tissue or functional defects that are frequently encountered as a result of the tumor or as a complication of surgery and adjuvant therapies. The principles, indications and results of microsurgical reconstruction differ from trauma patients and are directly related not only to the underlying disease process, but also to the local and systemic therapeutic modalities applied to the individual patient. Although plastic reconstruction in the oncological patients is not free of complications, usually these complications are manageable and do not jeopardize oncological outcome. The overall treatment strategy should be tailored to the patient’s and sarcoma profile.


Musculoskeletal oncology Microsurgery Flaps 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The 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 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

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


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Duke Cancer InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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