Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Limb salvage surgery

We perform limb salvage surgery, also called limb-sparing surgery, to remove a tumor and avoid amputation for patients with bone cancer or with soft tissue sarcoma affecting an extremity.

Our experts are often able to perform this highly specialized procedure as an alternative to amputation, which is sometimes a recommended method of treatment.

The goal of limb salvage surgery is to remove the tumor while still preserving the nearby tendons, nerves and blood vessels so the patient can maintain function in the affected limb.

During the procedure, the surgeon removes the tumor and affected tissue, as well as about one inch of healthy surrounding tissue.  If part of a bone is removed during this time, it is replaced; often using synthetic metal rods, prostheses, or pieces of bone (grafts). Soft tissue and muscle from other parts of the body are then used to close the wound. Over time, the replacement bone fuses together with the original bone, making limb movement possible.

Limb salvage surgery is often used in conjunction with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. It is a common option for cancer that is spreading at a slow rate.

At CTCA, we have an orthopedic oncologist on staff, Dr. Richard Schmidt , who has expertise in performing limb-salvage and bone reconstruction surgeries. Your care team also includes a rehabilitation therapist to help you regain function after surgery, along with other clinicians to help reduce pain and improve your comfort.

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