Hemiarthroplasty following tumor resection of the distal femur in children provides a chance to preserve the proximal tibial physis for limb elongation. Based on three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, the uncemented unipolar prosthesis with joint stability reinforced structures (JSRSs) was custom-designed for our cases. This study aimed to describe the design and assess the short-term outcomes of this refined prosthetic hemiarthroplasty.
Seven patients (four females and three males) received 3D-printed customized uncemented unipolar prosthesis for hemiarthroplasty after removal of the distal femur, from September 2019 to October 2020 at our Orthopedics department. The limb function, growth of the preserved proximal tibial physis, joint stability, and limb length discrepancy (LLD) were assessed. Complications were recorded.
Six patients survived with no evidence of metastasis or local recurrence at the last follow-up, and one patient died of lung metastasis at 19 months postoperatively. Follow-up ranged from 19 to 32 months, with an average of 26 months. Elongation of the tibia was observed in all cases. At the last follow-up, four patients exhibited equal growth length compared with the healthy contralateral tibia. LLD ranged from 0.8 to 1.6 cm with a mean of 1.3 cm. The average knee range of motion was 95.3° of flexion and 4.5° of extension. All patients achieved satisfactory postoperative limb function with a mean MSTS score of 25.8. The results of the drawer, Lachman, and pivot shift tests were negative in all patients. During follow-up, painless joint space narrowing was observed in two patients. The screw for ligament fixation loosened in one of the seven patients at 17 months postoperatively. No subluxation of the joint, angular deformity, or breakage of the implant was detected in the remaining patients.
3D-printed customized uncemented unipolar prosthesis with JSRS would be a good choice for reconstructing tumorous defect in the distal femur in children.

© 2022. The Author(s).