Even with the advancement of limb salvage surgery techniques, forequarter amputation (FQA) is still used in orthopedic oncology. Even though it might pose catastrophic sequelae on the patient’s lifestyle, debilitating one’s ability to perform regular tasks, FQA is still considered as a treatment of last resort for huge fungating tumors of the upper extremity.
We present a case of an 18-year-old male patient, who was diagnosed in Libya with left proximal humerus fracture after a trivial trauma and underwent open reduction and internal fixation using k-wires as it was thought to be a simple fracture. Soon after, pain and swelling progressed severely and an open biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of osteosarcoma and imaging suggested metastatic disease to the lungs for which he was started on chemoradiotherapy. He was referred to our cancer center to continue his management and due to the aggressive nature of the tumor, the patient underwent palliative forequarter amputation followed by multiple lines of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, all of which failed to halt the progression of the disease. The patient was lost to follow up due to his decision to go back to Libya.
“Whoops” surgeries are fixated upon repairing fractures without looking for the alarming signs on radiographs to exclude pathological entity. As in our case, the procedure done escalated the osteosarcoma into such a massive fungating tumor due to the violation of the osteosarcoma pseudo capsule, in which the only available option is to do a palliative forequarter amputation.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

References

PubMed