Incidence and Risk Factors for Extremity Osteoradionecrosis after Limb-Sparing Surgery and Adjuvant Radiotherapy

Yun Jui Lu, Chun Chieh Chen, Shih Heng Chen, Cheng Hung Lin, Yu Te Lin, Chih Hung Lin, Chung Chen Hsu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) is a major complication after radiotherapy. Most studies on ORN have focused on patients with mandibular lesions, with few studies including patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS). We included 198 patients with extremity STS who underwent limb-sparing surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy between 2004 and 2017. The incidence rate of extremity ORN was 3.5% (7/198), with most lesions (6/7) located in the lower extremities. The mean follow-up time was 62 months. Clinical presentations included chronic ulcers, soft tissue necrosis, sinus discharge, bone nonunion, and pathological fractures. Compared with the non-ORN group, the ORN group had a significantly higher total radiation dose (68 Gy vs. 64 Gy, p = 0.048) and greater use of intraoperative periosteal stripping (p = 0.008). Repeat surgeries and subsequent soft tissue reconstruction or limb amputation were performed as treatments. The risk and management of ORN in patients with extremity STS was ignored previously. Because the disease is complex and affects both clinicians and patients, careful surveillance should be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2339
Issue number8
StatePublished - 17 04 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • extremity sarcoma
  • osteoradionecrosis
  • radiation therapy
  • soft tissue sarcoma


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