A comparative analysis of functional outcomes in adolescents and young adults with lower-extremity bone sarcoma

Jill P Ginsberg, Shesh N Rai, Claire A Carlson, Anna T Meadows, Pamela S Hinds, Elena M Spearing, Lijun Zhang, Lulie Callaway, Michael D Neel, Bhaskar N Rao, Victoria G Marchese
Pediatric Blood & Cancer 2007, 49 (7): 964-9

BACKGROUND: Comparison of functional mobility and quality of life is performed in patients with lower-extremity bone sarcoma following either amputation, limb-sparing surgery, or rotationplasty with four different types of outcome measures: (1) an objective functional mobility measure that requires patients to physically perform specific tasks, functional mobility assessment (FMA); (2) a clinician administered tool, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society Scale (MSTS); (3) a patient questionnaire, Toronto Extremity Salvage Scale (TESS); and (4) a health-related quality of life (HRQL) measure, Short Form-36 version 2 (SF-36v.2).

PROCEDURE: This is a prospective multi-site study including 91 patients with lower-extremity bone sarcoma following amputation, limb-sparing surgery, or rotationplasty. One of three physical therapists administered the quality of life measure (SF-36v.2) as well as a battery of functional measures (FMA, MSTS, and TESS).

RESULTS: Differences between patients who had amputation, limb-sparing surgery, or rotationplasty were consistently demonstrated by the FMA. Patients with limb sparing femur surgery performed better than those patients with an above the knee amputation but similarly to a small number of rotationplasty patients. Several of the more conventional self-report measures were shown to not have the discriminative capabilities of the FMA in these cohorts.

CONCLUSION: In adolescents with lower-extremity bone sarcoma, it may be advantageous to consider the use of a combination of outcome measures, including the FMA, for objective functional mobility assessment along with the TESS for a subjective measure of disability and the SF-36v.2 for a quality-of-life measure.

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