Upper extremity reconstruction following resection of soft tissue sarcomas: A functional outcomes analysis

John Y. Kim, Adel Youssef, Vairavan Subramanian, Bruce A. Rogers, Raphael E. Pollock, Geoffrey L. Robb, David W. Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment for soft tissue sarcoma of the upper extremity has evolved to include limb salvage techniques. We reviewed our experience with limb salvage therapy for upper extremity sarcomas with an emphasis on functional outcomes following the reconstructive surgery. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of 81 consecutive patients with soft tissue sarcoma of the upper extremity who had limb salvage therapy with reconstruction by a plastic surgeon. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses of relevant outcome variables were performed. Enneking functional scores were obtained from 43 patients. Results: The study included 16 microvascular reconstructions and 67 non-microvascular reconstructions for a total of 83 reconstructions in 81 patients. The mean defect size was 129 cm2 (standard deviation: 106 cm2). The mean total functional score was 23.1 (range, 9 to 30). Any reconstruction-related complication and preoperative chemotherapy use were associated with a 7.3 point (P = .03) and 4.7 point (P = .01) decrease in total functional score, respectively. Kaplan-Meier product-limit analysis showed 82% 5-year overall survival and 67% 5-year disease-free survival rates. Conclusions: For soft tissue sarcoma of the upper extremity, limb salvage with good functional outcome is possible with a judicious approach to reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004



  • Outcomes
  • Reconstruction
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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