JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Delayed diagnosis in metastatic lesions of the foot.

INTRODUCTION: Pedal acrometastases are a rare complication of disseminated malignancy. To date, there is little in the literature documenting their clinical course.

METHODS: Our large orthopaedic oncology database was used to review the clinical course of symptomatic pedal acrometastases.

RESULTS: A total of 15 cases of pedal acrometastases were identified from 2,595 patients with metastases. The median age at presentation was 64.5 years (range: 14-83 years) and the median length of foot symptoms (predominantly pain and swelling) prior to diagnosis of metastasis was 16 weeks (range: 6-104 weeks). The median survival following diagnosis was 4.6 months (range: 2.3-104.5 months).

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that 0.58% of all osseous metastases involve the foot, and that symptoms of foot pain and swelling are often misdiagnosed, leading to delays in treatment. A high index of suspicion is required to diagnose pedal acrometastases early, thereby allowing early treatment so that the patient's quality of life can be maintained prior to death.

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