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Role of Amputation in Improving Mobility, Pain Outcomes, and Emotional and Psychological Well-Being in Children With Metastatic Osteosarcoma

Journal title
The American journal of hospice & palliative care
Publication year
Gil, S.; Fernandez-Pineda, I.; Rao, B.; Neel, M. D.; Baker, J. N.; Wu, H.; Wu, J.; Anghelescu, D. L.

BACKGROUND:: Few studies have analyzed the benefit of limb amputations in children with metastatic osteosarcoma and limited life span. OBJECTIVE:: We studied outcomes of limb amputations in children with metastatic osteosarcoma. DESIGN:: We performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent limb amputations (January 1995-June 2015) and died within 1 year of surgery. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:: We studied 12 patients with osteosarcoma at a single institution. MEASUREMENTS:: Data on mobility, pain, and emotional and psychological well-being were retrieved from medical records from 1 month before surgery to 6 months after surgery. RESULTS:: Of the 12 patients (7 females and 5 males; median age at surgery 13 years [range, 7-20 years]) meeting study criteria, 3 patients and 9 patients had primary osteosarcoma in upper and lower limbs, respectively. Mobility improved postamputation in 8 bedridden/wheelchair-bound patients. Postamputation, emotional, and psychological well-being improved for 9 patients, 3 patients had persistent psychological and/or emotional symptoms, and no patient experienced signs of regret. Daily mean pain scores were significantly lower at 1 week (median 3 [range, 0-6]; P = .03) and 3 months (median 0 [range, 0-8]; P = .02) postsurgery than at 1 week presurgery (median 5.5 [range, 0-10]). Morphine consumption (mg/kg/d) showed a trend toward higher values at 1 week (median 0.2 [range, 0-7.6]; P = .6) and 3 months (median 0.2 [range, 0-0.5]; P = .3) postsurgery than at 1 week presurgery (median 0.1 [range, 0-0.5]). CONCLUSIONS:: Patients undergoing limb amputations had reduced pain and improved mobility and emotional and psychological well-being. Amputations are likely to benefit children with limited life expectancy.

Research abstracts