Challenges in the Diagnosis and Management of Musculoskeletal Tumours in Nigeria

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Ladejobi, A. O.
Abdulkareem, FB
Nnodu, O. E.
Obalum, D. C.
Eyesan, S. U.
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International Orthopaedics
The management of musculoskeletal tumours is important because of the high mortality rates associated with the available treatment modalities. A 5-year prospective study of bone and soft-tissue tumours is presented, along with the difficulties encountered in diagnosis and treatment. There were 71 patients (male:female ratio of 1.7:1, age range 5-85 years, mean age 32 years) with an average duration of 24.7 weeks (range 1 day to 34 years) before presentation. No patient had computed tomography (CT) scanning or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to financial constraints, 95% had biopsies and X-rays, 15% could afford chemotherapy/ror chemotherapy is a sad consequence. 50% agreed to amputation. In the soft-tissue sarcoma group, only one of three patients could pay for limb-sparing surgery. In the benign group, 65% had limb-sparing surgeries and 15% had amputation. Fifty percent (50%) of patients were lost to follow up within 3 months and 39% of the malignant group died within the same period. Musculoskeletal tumours are a reality in our environment and a significant portion of our population have financial limitations. Ignorance and cultural beliefs promote late presentation to our hospitals, which are poorly equipped to give optimal care, despite the presence of trained personnel.
Int Orthop . 2009 Feb;33(1):211-3. doi: 10.1007/s00264-007-0475-x. Epub 2007 Dec 7.