Surgical management for malignant tumors of the thumb Journal Article


Authors: Puhaindran, M. E.; Rothrock, C. P.; Athanasian, E. A.
Article Title: Surgical management for malignant tumors of the thumb
Abstract: Background: Malignant tumors of the thumb can be treated surgically with either wide local excision with reconstruction or amputation. Local excision of tumors in the thumb and hand often requires closer resection margin than at other sites, and there is also a need for tissue transfer from a donor site for reconstruction. Primary thumb amputation allows local tumor control while avoiding donor-site morbidity, but comes at great functional cost. We conducted this retrospective case review to assess the outcomes of thumb-sparing wide excisions and primary thumb amputations for malignant thumb tumors. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 23 patients who were surgically treated for malignant tumors of the thumb at our center from 1996 to 2005. We reviewed patient demographics, tumor pathology, extent of resection, postoperative margin status, adjuvant therapy, recurrence, and survival. Functional outcomes were scored using the Muscular Skeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) rating system. Results: Twenty-three patients underwent definitive surgery: 14 thumb-sparing wide excisions and 9 amputations (five at the interphalangeal joint, three at the metacarpophalangeal joint, and one at the forearm). Median follow-up was 58 months (range, 5-156 months). All patients had negative margins. One patient developed a local tumor recurrence (following below-elbow amputation for a soft tissue sarcoma) while three patients developed distant metastases and died from their disease (two patients had melanomas and one had a soft tissue sarcoma). The median MSTS functional score was 28 (IQR, 27-29) for the entire cohort. Two patients that underwent amputation at the metcarpophalangeal joint without reconstruction had the lowest scores of 11 and 17. Conclusion: There was a low incidence of local recurrence and distant metastasis in this study, and these events appeared to be related to the underlying disease rather than the surgery performed. Thumb-sparing wide excision and amputation at the interphalangeal joint both give acceptable functional outcomes, though reconstruction should be strongly considered for patients undergoing amputation at the metacarpophalangeal joint. © 2011 American Association for Hand Surgery.
Keywords: melanoma; sarcoma; amputation; wide excision; thumb
Journal Title: Hand
Volume: 6
Issue: 4
ISSN: 1558-9447
Publisher: American Association for Hand Surgery  
Date Published: 2011-12-01
Start Page: 373
End Page: 377
Language: English
DOI: 10.1007/s11552-011-9349-1
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC3213266
PUBMED: 23204962
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Export Date: 9 December 2011" - "CODEN: HANDB" - "Source: Scopus"
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