• 1 Department of Orthopaedics, Hospital Sultan Ismail, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
  • 2 University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 3 Department of Orthopaedics, Hospital Sultan Ismail, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
BMC Cancer, 2018 Nov 14;18(1):1112.
PMID: 30428857 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-018-5012-3


BACKGROUND: Sacral chordoma is a locally aggressive malignant tumour originating from ectopic notochordal cells. The natural history of sacral chordoma is a slow growing tumour arising at the midline of the lower sacrum that can invade the sacrum and progressively increase in size expanding cranially and anteriorly. Metastasis is very rare even when the tumour is large. Sacral chordoma affects males more than females and is more commonly found in middle age and elderly patients.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 25 years old female had neglected an extremely large midline sacral mass for 2 years. On presentation to hospital, she had been bed bound for the past 2 years. The sacral mass was so large that it prevented her from lying down supine and sitting on the wheelchair comfortably. Clinical examination showed a 40 cm × 30 cm × 20 cm hard mass over the sacrum that involved both buttocks and the gluteal fold. Neurological exam of bilateral lower limb was normal. Computed Tomography Scan of the Pelvis showed a large destructive sacrococcygeal mass measuring 43 cm × 38 cm × 27 cm with extension into the presacral space resulting in anterior displacement of the rectum, urinary bladder and uterus; and posterior extension into the dorsal soft tissue with involvement of the gluteus, piriformis, and left erector spinae muscles. Biopsy taken confirmed Chordoma. This patient was managed by a multidisciplinary team in an Oncology referral centre. The patient had undergone Wide En Bloc Resection and Sacrectomy, a complex surgery that was associated with complications namely bleeding, surgical site infection and neurogenic bowel and bladder. Six months post operatively the patient was able to lie supine and sit on wheelchair comfortably. She required extensive rehabilitation to help her ambulate in future.

CONCLUSION: This is a rare case of neglected sacral chordoma in a young female treated with Wide En Bloc Resection and Sacrectomy associated with complications of this complex surgery. Nevertheless, surgery is still worthwhile to improve the quality of life and to prevent complications secondary to prolonged immobilization. A multidisciplinary approach is ideal and team members need to be prepared to address the complications once they arise.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.