Musculoskeletal Oncology

Musculoskeletal Oncology is a sub-specialized branch of orthopaedic surgery focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with bone and soft tissue tumors. Many of the aggressive tumors are treated with a multidisciplinary approach consisting of radiologists, pediatric and adult medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists, to provide optimal outcomes. This has resulted in significant improvements in patient care, survival rates, and a decrease in local recurrence.

Musculoskeletal oncologic surgeons have expertise in treating patients with a wide variety of conditions which can affect many parts of the body and in some cases may be extremely rare. These include:

  • Benign bone and soft tissue tumors
  • Tumor simulators (Paget’s disease, fibrous dysplasia, osteopetrosis)
  • Malignant primary bone and soft tissue tumors such as sarcomas of the extremities, pelvis, and sacrum
  • Metastatic disease to the bone and soft tissues

With the advent of newer imaging modalities, more advanced surgical techniques and equipment, and targeted chemotherapy / radiation, a greater spectrum of treatment options are now available to patients. This has become evident even in patients with metastatic bone disease. (Metastatic disease occurs when cancer cells spread from the place where the cancer originated to other parts of the body.) As multi-modal cancer therapy continues to advance, there have been encouraging trends towards longer survival rates for many types of cancer.

One result of the longer survival rates has been an increase in late metastatic disease with spread to the skeleton. In select patients, more aggressive surgical options exist to

  • substantially decrease pain
  • enhance function
  • provide a better quality of life

For more information on musculoskeletal oncology, or to schedule an appointment at Saint Francis, please call 860-714-4085.