Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Naser, Lisa


Background: Extremity bone and soft tissue sarcoma are a rare type of cancer with treatment modalities to include chemotherapy and radiation and surgical procedures. Surgery can be limb salvage or limb amputation. Patients of extremity bone and soft tissue sarcomas may experience physical and psychosocial effects due to sarcoma treatments impacting physical performance, quality of life, and social support. Therefore, this study sought to evaluate the complications of extremity bone and soft tissue sarcoma in patients following limb salvage and amputation surgeries. Methods: Patients were selected from the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital database and had a primary tumor located in the lower extremity. A medical chart review was conducted and complications encountered by bone and extremity soft tissue sarcoma patients were reviewed and recorded. Results: Local recurrence was greatest in limb salvage reconstruction, n=10 (20%) compared to amputation reconstruction n=1 (2%). Infection was greatest in the limb salvage group, n=8 (16%) versus amputation group, n=2 (4%). Physical limitations were reported in 95% of the limb salvage patients and 100% of the amputation patients. Pain was reported in all the 50 patients. Nineteen patients (38%) in limb salvage group and twenty-five patients (50%) in amputation group had revision surgeries. Cardiomyopathy induced by anthracycline treatment was reported in three patients. One patient had sensorineural hearing loss due to high dose methotrexate exposure. Conclusions: Extremity bone and soft tissue sarcoma patients can suffer long term effects from their surgical and chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Local recurrence, infection, pain, physical limitations are some of the complications arising from such treatments which can impact their quality of life. Limb salvage group had a greater local recurrence and infection rate than the amputation group. Therefore, amputation was not associated with greater post-surgical complications than limb salvage.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons