• local recurrence;
  • osteosarcoma;
  • local control



Indications and contraindications for limb salvage versus amputation for local treatment of osteosarcoma of the extremity are still controversial.

Patients and Methods

Patients (1,126) with non-metastatic osteosarcoma of the extremity, treated in a single institution between 1972 and 1999 with different protocols of adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy were evaluated to establish factors that could influence local recurrence (LR) and outcome.


The 5-year event-free survival and overall survival were 55% and 66%. At a follow-up ranging between 5.5 and 32.5 years (mean18.6 years) of the 1,126 evaluated patients, 607 (54%) remained continuously disease-free and 519 relapsed. LR developed in 61 patients (5.4%) after a median time of 2.3 years (0.2–17). For this group of patients the 5-year post-relapse event-free survival and overall survival from the last relapse were, respectively, 11.4% and 16.4%. At the multivariate analyses only surgical margins and histologic response to preoperative treatment resulted to be independent prognostic factors for LR.


Considering the risk of LR after surgery with inadequate surgical margins and poor prognosis of LR in osteosarcoma, limb salvage procedures should be performed only when adequate margins surgical margins can be achieved. In case of inadequate margins, an immediate amputation should be considered. J. Surg. Oncol. 2007;96:118–123. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.