The aim of the study was to report overall survival, local recurrence and development of metastasis in a group of patients with femur chondrosarcoma that presented with or without a pathological fracture.

A retrospective review was performed, and 182 patients (39 pathological fractures) that had been treated by oncologic surgery for femoral chondrosarcoma were included. The mean age of the series was 50 years (range, eight to 90) and 114 patients were male (63%). Mean follow-up was 113 months (range, three to 216). Cancer-specific overall survival, development of metastasis and local recurrence were analysed, grouping patients by grade (grade I / grade 2-3 / dedifferentiated).

Disease-specific survival in the entire group of chondrosarcoma of the femur was 69% (CI95% 63-76) at 5 years. Five-year disease-specific survival in the fracture group was 49% lower than in the control group 75% (p = 0.0001). Survival of patients with grade 1 chondrosarcoma with fracture was significantly less than those without fracture (p = 0.02) but there was no difference in those with grade 2-3 (p = 0.49) and dedifferentiated tumours (p = 0.09). The local recurrence rate of the entire series was 27%. Only dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas with an associated pathological fracture had a significantly higher rate of local recurrence. There was no relationship between development of metastases and fracture.

A pathological fracture of the femur has a negative prognostic influence in grade 1 chondrosarcoma and increases the risk of local recurrence in dedifferentiated femur chondrosarcomas.