At the Hungarian Orthopedic Clinic of Semmelweis University, half of the woman’s pelvic bone was replaced with a state-of-the-art implant. In addition to preserving the leg, there is a high chance of restoring its function before the advancement of the bone tumor. There was no prior precedent for this innovative procedure in Hungary.
According to Tamás Perlaky, the orthopedic surgeon who conducted the operation, the 31-year-old woman experienced unduly sharp pain during her pregnancy. She had to go through numerous examinations, and after giving birth she could not even stand on her feet. Finally, the X-ray showed that her unusual symptoms were caused by a pelvic bone tumor, reports Index.
Bone tumor, which does not develop as a result of metastasis, is a relatively rare disease. It accounts for 1 percent of all cancer cases, and roughly half of them are malignant. Approximately, 50-60 people are diagnosed with it every year in Hungary. Three types are usually distinguished, the 31-year-old woman suffered from the so-called Ewing’s sarcoma, which can occur even at the age of 3-4 until the beginning of the 30s. According to Tamás Perlaky, bone tumors are typically childhood diseases, the first symptom of which is persistent pain independent of exercise, which does not go away even at night. With chemotherapy and surgery, if discovered in time, they can now mostly be treated well.
“In the case of the 31-year-old woman, the X-ray showed a tumor of such a large size that it became more and more certain that half of the pelvic bone had to be removed”, said Tamás Perlaky. According to the specialist, the preparation for the operation took several months. First, the German engineering team, with the professional support of the Hungarian orthopedic doctors, prepared the implant based on the CT scan. After that, a unique fairness license from NEAK was also required to support the innovative but expensive procedure, because only the purchase of an implant amounted to HUF 16 million (EUR 41814,89).
The specialist emphasised that there were few patients who were suitable for this procedure, as the preparation process took months. In order to avoid complications, the operation could be performed only on those patients who have no other chronic diseases nor are they overweight, and the malignant change has not yet metastasised.
The operation took place in November, in which the usual team participated, three surgeons, two operating assistants and an anesthesiologist. The procedure lasted six hours. “The histological results revealed that the tumor responded well to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It was successfully removed, and there were no metastases elsewhere”, said the surgeon. With the new implant, the patient will be able to live a full life, the specialist added. A few weeks after the intervention, the woman was able to recover at home. However, her treatment will continue for a few months with chemotherapy to prevent the recurrence of the tumor, and movement rehabilitation will follow as well.