Functional ability and physical activity in children and young adults after limb-salvage or ablative surgery for lower extremity bone tumors
Background: Aim of our study was to compare functional ability and physical activity in children and young adults who underwent surgery for a malignant bone tumor that was located around the knee. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 82 patients aged 8-25 years with a follow-up of 1-5 years. The functional ability and the amount of physical activity were evaluated by means of questionnaires and objective instruments. Results: Thirty nine patients underwent limb-salvage surgery (24 allograft and 15 endoprosthesis) and 43 underwent ablative surgery (27 amputations and 16 rotationplasty). Patients in the limb-salvage group were significantly older at the time of surgery than patients in the ablative group (mean age 15.2 years vs. 13.2 years, P = 0.03). Apart from significantly better scores for the timed up and down stairs and various walking activities in the limb-salvage group as compared to the ablative surgery group, no significant differences were seen for any of the outcome measures. Conclusions: One to 5 years after limb-salvage and ablative surgery due to a malignant bone tumor children and young adults do, apart from a few activities involving walking and climbing stairs, not differ with respect to overall functional ability and physical activity.