Squamous cell carcinoma of the foot

Benjamin K. Potter, J. David Pitcher, Sheila C. Adams, H. Thomas Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the foot are relatively common, but have been infrequently reported in the orthopaedic literature. Materials and Methods: Twelve patients with SCC of the foot treated at a single institution from 1998 to 2005 were studied retrospectively with regard to risk factors for the disease, treatment, and functional and oncologic outcomes. The mean duration of postoperative followup was 43 (range, 24 to 105) months. Results: Eight of the 12 patients had identifiable risk factors for SCC. Inadequate or inappropriate procedures had been previously performed in eight of the 12 cases, requiring more aggressive definitive treatment in at least four cases. Definitive operative treatment consisted of wide excision (4 patients), partial or complete toe amputation (4), partial foot amputation (3), and transtibial amputation (1). Two patients developed local recurrence of disease, and both ultimately required Syme amputations for local control. One patient with local recurrence died of metastatic disease and the other 11 patients are alive without evident disease. Musculoskeletal Tumor Society functional scores averaged 90 and were good or excellent in nine of the 11 surviving patients. Conclusion: Squamous cell carcinomas of the foot are likely underreported and frequently subject to inappropriate initial treatment. Most patients have identifiable risk factors for SCC that can aid in formulating an appropriate differential diagnosis. Despite frequent suboptimal initial treatment, most patients are candidates for complete or partial limb salvage, with generally good oncologic and functional outcomes expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Foot
  • Risk factors
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Unplanned excision


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