Diagnosis and management of sacrococcygeal chordoma

Kevin P. Bethke, James P. Neifeld*, Walter Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Chordoma is a rare, slow‐growing but locally aggressive malignant tumor derived from the primitive notochord and located along the axial skeleton. Between 1973 and 1991, of 15 patients with chordomas treated at the Medical College of Virginia, eight originated in the sacrococcygeal area. There was a median one year interval between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis (range of four months to six years) for this latter group. Two patients had undergone coccygectomies and one patient a lumbar discectomy prior to establishing the correct diagnosis of sacral chordoma. Seven patients underwent resection and one refused therapy. The four patients who had an initial wide radical resection had a longer disease‐free survival than the three who underwent local excision. Three of four patients had metastatic disease at the time of death. Early diagnosis and aggressive initial surgical resection are necessary for long‐term survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • bone tumor
  • notochord
  • radiotherapy
  • sacral tumor
  • sacrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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