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Recovery and Functionality
As previously mentioned, these operations can be quite lengthy. As well, the recovery time is variable and hospitalizations can be quite long. Renard et al.8 had median post-op stays of six weeks.
The patient can be immobilized anywhere from 5-14 days in traction or abduction. Average time to ambulation varied from 8 days up to nine months with extensive physical therapy.1, 2, 6, 8, 13,16
In regards to specific studies:
- Cottias et al.16 found that all patients had no pain or mild pain requiring occasional analgesia. Passive motion was limited to mean flexion of 55 degrees. Abduction of 12 degrees and external rotation 16 degrees. Usually ambulatory with crutch or cane.
- Renard et al.8 found that 7 of 8 patients with primary neoplasia were able to walk with or without aids and without pain.
- Aboulafia et al.3 claimed 10 of 17 had excellent results being community ambulators without narcotics. 3 were rated as poor and non-ambulatory.
- Van Der Lei et al.13 had a patient that was walking without pain or support 2.5 years post operatively.
Benevenia et al.1 found that the saddle prosthesis improves analgesia requirement, independency, and ambulation. And, most should be able to ambulate outside the house with cane and can expect to have a better quality of life despite their metastatic burden.