PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
This review focuses on the surgical management of soft tissue sarcomas of the hands and the feet. With recent advances in limb salvage surgery and radiotherapy delivery, local control of soft tissue sarcoma in the extremity has become optimized, and the associated functional results of this treatment have taken on extreme importance. Techniques to limit the amount of normal tissue resected and to reconstruct the resulting defects are critical to the final functional result.
Several features of soft tissue sarcoma unique to the hand and foot have been reported. Certain histologic subtypes of soft tissue sarcoma have been noted to arise preferentially in the hand and the foot, such as epithelioid sarcoma, clear cell sarcoma, and synovial sarcoma. Patients with hand and foot sarcomas have been described as having improved overall survival, but this is likely a result of the smaller size of tumors arising in these locations. Reconstruction of bone defects using various techniques, vascular reconstruction, tendon transfers, and soft tissue reconstruction using regional flaps in the hand and free flaps in the foot have resulted in good functional outcomes. Amputation and early prosthetic fitting still have a role in management of some soft tissue sarcomas, most frequently in the foot.
Limb salvage remains the standard of care for extremity soft tissue sarcomas. Given the fact that patients have good oncologic and functional outcomes with limb salvage in tumors in the hand and foot, surgical oncologists should have this goal for each patient.