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Orthopedic oncology

orthopedic oncology

What is orthopedic oncology?

Orthopedic oncology involves the diagnosis and treatment of malignant disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The Orthopedic Oncology Program at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) provides advanced orthopedic procedures for the following:

  • Primary bone cancers
  • Soft tissue sarcomas
  • Metastatic cancers that spread to the bone (breast, colon, lung, prostate)
  • Orthopedic problems that occur alongside cancer

Experienced care team

If you have a primary or metastatic bone or soft tissue sarcoma, it is important to have an orthopedic oncologist as part of your cancer team. Because of the rarity of primary bone tumors, there are a limited number of orthopedic oncologists in the country.

Our orthopedic oncologists have expertise in diagnosing and treating malignant musculoskeletal diseases. They can provide specialized procedures to remove tumors and reconstruct the bones to help restore full mobility of the limb, and/or to relieve symptoms.

Individualized treatment approach

Our doctors use state-of-the-art diagnostic tests and procedures to determine the type, location and stage of the disease. Then, we’ll work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that works for you.

The following are some orthopedic oncology procedures we provide:

  • Soft tissue excisions/resections
  • Joint replacement, hip replacement
  • Limb salvage surgery
  • Amputation (if necessary)
  • Bone grafting
  • Rodding/rod fixation (i.e., placing metal rods in bones to prevent them from breaking)
  • Implants (e.g., metal implants, prosthesis), transplants
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Palliative surgery (to relieve symptoms)

Bone cancer can cause weakened, brittle bones, which sometimes results in compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae. We can perform minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as kyphoplasty, to rebuild cracked or collapsed vertebrae.

We also provide advanced treatments and procedures for cancers that metastasize to the bone from another area of the body. For example, a common treatment for metastatic breast cancer to the bone is Zometa®. Generally administered through an infusion, this treatment is used to reduce the risk of bone complications, such as fractures.

Your orthopedic oncologist can also address orthopedic problems (e.g., arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.) that may occur alongside cancer and/or its treatment. For instance, if you have breast cancer or multiple myeloma and require a knee or hip replacement for arthritis, we can treat both conditions.

Improving quality of life

Orthopedic cancers, and cancers that spread to the bone, can cause unwanted side effects like pain and loss of mobility, which can slow your recovery from treatment. We want to get you out of pain and up and moving as soon as possible. Throughout your treatment, we’ll provide integrative oncology services to help relieve pain, restore your independence, and improve your overall quality of life.

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