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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Modular endoprosthetic replacement for metastatic tumours of the proximal femur

Coonoor R Chandrasekar*, Robert J Grimer, Simon R Carter, Roger M Tillman and Adesegun T Abudu

Author Affiliations

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, UK

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2008, 3:50  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-3-50

Published: 4 November 2008


Background and aims

Endoprosthetic replacements of the proximal femur are commonly required to treat destructive metastases with either impending or actual pathological fractures at this site. Modular prostheses provide an off the shelf availability and can be adapted to most reconstructive situations for proximal femoral replacements. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical and functional outcomes following modular tumour prosthesis reconstruction of the proximal femur in 100 consecutive patients with metastatic tumours and to compare them with the published results of patients with modular and custom made endoprosthetic replacements.


100 consecutive patients who underwent modular tumour prosthetic reconstruction of the proximal femur for metastases using the METS system from 2001 to 2007 were studied. The patient, tumour and treatment factors in relation to overall survival, local control, implant survival and complications were analysed. Functional scores were obtained from surviving patients.

Results and conclusion

There were 45 male and 55 female patients. The mean age was 60.2 years. The indications were metastases. Seventy five patients presented with pathological fracture or with failed fixation and 25 patients were at a high risk of developing a fracture. The mean follow up was 15.9 months [range 0–77]. Three patients died within 2 weeks following surgery. 69 patients have died and 31 are alive. Of the 69 patients who were dead 68 did not need revision surgery indicating that the implant provided single definitive treatment which outlived the patient. There were three dislocations (2/5 with THR and 1/95 with unipolar femoral heads). 6 patients had deep infections. The estimated five year implant survival (Kaplan-Meier analysis) was 83.1% with revision as end point. The mean TESS score was 64% (54%–82%).

We conclude that METS modular tumour prosthesis for proximal femur provides versatility; low implant related complications and acceptable function lasting the lifetime of the patients with metastatic tumours of the proximal femur.