Orthopedic oncology for bone cancer
Surgery, a common treatment option for bone cancer, can be used to remove the tumor and surrounding area of normal bone and/or to relieve symptoms.
Our Orthopedic Oncology Program provides the following orthopedic surgeries for bone cancer patients:
- Soft tissue excisions/resections
- Joint replacement
- Hip replacement
- Limb salvage surgery
- Rodding/rod fixation
- Bone grafting/synthetic bone substitute (e.g., Kyphoplasty)
- Implants (e.g., prosthesis), transplants
- Reconstructive surgery
- Palliative surgery
Dr. Schmidt has expertise in limb-salvage procedures to avoid amputation whenever possible. Once the tumor is removed, he can reconstruct the bones to help restore full mobility of the limb.
The program also addresses any orthopedic problems that occur alongside cancer, such as osteoporosis or arthritis.
Innovations in kyphoplasty
Bone cancer can cause weakened, brittle bones, which sometimes results in compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae. Vertebral compression fractures can cause severe back pain, spinal deformity and loss of height.
Dr. Schmidt can perform minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as kyphoplasty, to rebuild cracked or collapsed vertebrae. During this procedure, a special balloon is gently inflated inside the fractured bone to expand it to its normal height. Then, with image guidance, a cement-like material is injected directly into the fractured bone through a hollow needle.
Dr. Schmidt uses a type of synthetic bone material which, he says, is as strong as bone and doesn’t get hot or injure normal bone tissue when it sets. It also hardens within five minutes after being injected.
Kyphoplasty involves a short surgical and recovery time, and can help to relieve pain, strengthen the vertebra and restore height.