Background: Rotationplasty is considered to be a treatment option for patients who have had a primary malignant bone tumor of the distal part of the femur or the proximal part of the tibia. The present study was performed to evaluate the muscle activity, the kinetics (range of motion of the hip and knee joints), and the kinematics (joint moments) after rotationplasty and to determine whether there was an association between these parameters and the functional outcome.
Methods: Forty-three patients who had been managed with rotationplasty for the treatment of a femoral or tibial bone tumor were evaluated clinically and functionally. The mean age (and standard deviation) at the time of follow-up was 24.4 ± 10.7 years (range, eight to sixty-eight years), the mean age at the time of the procedure was 17.8 ± 10.2 years (range, seven to sixty-three years), and the mean duration of follow-up was 6.7 ± 4.9 years (range, 0.7 to eighteen years). Instrumented gait and electromyographic analyses were performed. The qualitative data were compared with the functional outcome, which was determined with the functional evaluation score of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society.
Results: Gait analysis revealed a fairly normal walking pattern with a slight limp and a lateral lean of the trunk over the ipsilateral limb that led to a reduced joint moment in the hip (moment on involved side, 68 percent [compared with a control group]; moment on uninvolved side, 81 percent). The ranges of motion of the hips (uninvolved side, 42.0 ± 8.2 degrees; involved side, 42.4 ± 8.0 degrees) and the knees (uninvolved side, 59.7 ± 5.0 degrees; involved side [former ankle joint], 58.1 ± 11.6 degrees) were symmetrical even though the knee-motion pattern of the involved limb indicated a slightly reduced extensor mechanism in 51 percent (twenty-two) and a markedly reduced extensor mechanism in 35 percent (fifteen) of the forty-three patients. Electromyography revealed function of the muscles of the involved limb, with comparable amplitudes in the involved and uninvolved limbs. The leg muscles of the involved limb were active in the stance phase (the soleus and the lateral and medial heads of the gastrocnemius) and the swing phase (the peroneus longus and the tibialis anterior) according to their function in relation to the new knee joint. The patients had a good functional result, with a mean score of 23.9 ± 2.7 of 30 points. With the numbers available for study, we could not show the duration of follow-up to be related to the overall outcome, but the age at the time of the operation was related to the total functional score as well as to gait and walking ability (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The results of the electromyographic and gait analyses demonstrated good functional restoration of gait following rotationplasty.