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Orthopaedic Oncology

Innovative surgical treatment for bone and soft tissue tumors

Orthopaedic Oncology is a specialty field under the umbrella of orthopaedic surgery focused on the surgical treatment of benign and malignant growths that arise in bones or soft tissues of the extremities, pelvis, shoulder girdle, or chest cavity. We are the region’s only Orthopaedic Oncology practice, providing vital care and quality-of-life benefits for patients of all ages who have traditionally had to travel out of town for this surgical specialty.

Conditions We Treat

  • Sarcomas include Primary Bone Sarcomas, which are malignant tumors that arise in the bone, and Primary Soft-Tissue Sarcomas, which are also cancerous tumors but start in the fat or muscle tissues. Our treatment approach is surgical, and this is often curative for many patients. Examples: Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Synovial Sarcoma, Liposarcoma, Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma.
  • Benign Tumors are non-cancerous abnormal growths in the bone or soft tissues. These tumors may require surgery to relieve pain or to protect bone or tissue. Some benign tumors do not require treatment. Examples: Osteochondroma, Fibrous Dysplasia, Lipoma.
  • Metastatic Carcinomas are cancers that start in the primary solid organs (such as the lungs or kidneys) and spread to the bone. Orthopaedic Oncology is not usually involved in surgical cure for these cancers, but rather in relieving pain by stabilizing broken bones, performing joint replacements, and fixing bones in danger of breaking.

How Are Musculoskeletal Tumors Detected?

  • Your Doctor - Musculoskeletal tumors are often detected by another physician or orthopaedic surgeon who feels a bump or finds something abnormal on an X-ray, MRI, or physical exam. Bone and soft tissue tumors often go undetected, so it is important to get checked out if you feel a bump or have a constant dull ache in your joints or extremities.
  • By Noticing Symptoms - Bone Tumors often cause constant pain in the area involved. This pain is sometimes worse when walking or during exercise. Soft Tissue Tumors are typically not painful, but patients may notice a lump or bump that may grow or change in size.

If you experience any of these symptoms, see a physician as soon as possible for evaluation.

What Can I Expect During My Initial Evaluation?

Your initial appointment will begin with a conversation with Dr. Voskuil to get a better picture of your medical history, including:

  • When the mass was first discovered
  • Pain patterns, what helps and what makes things worse
  • Other treatments you might have had
  • Any history of cancer or cancer related treatments for you or your family

Dr. Voskuil will review prior medical work-ups, labs, imaging and biopsies. His team will conduct a thorough exam and take X-rays of the extremity in question. Next steps will likely include an MRI to get a more detailed image and a biopsy to determine the pathologic diagnosis. It is important to bring any prior images to the appointment for review.

A Team Approach to Care

Treating bone and soft tissue tumors calls for close partnership with other medical specialties including medical oncology, radiation oncology, interventional radiology, pathology, physical therapy, social work, and other areas. Orthopedic Oncology meets weekly at the Erlanger Cancer Center’s multi-disciplinary Tumor Board to discuss cases, review patient histories, and develop a multi-specialty treatment plan with the providers in these other disciplines. You will have an entire team dealing with your individual case.

Cutting-edge Treatments

  • Limb-sparing and Restorative Surgery allowing removal of the tumor while preserving the limb
  • Smart Endorosthetics that grow with a young person’s changing musculoskeletal system
  • Advanced Interventional Radiology Treatments to ensure highly precise, image-guided biopsies and procedures.
  • Access to custom 3D printed patient-specific implants for reconstruction
  • Intraoperative adjuvant treatments to kill the tumor directly
  • Robotic assistance for tumor resection and reconstruction

Special Focus for Pediatric Patients

Young people face many of the same bone and soft tissue conditions as adults, and our practice treats all ages. However, pediatric patients require unique approaches because their musculoskeletal system is still growing and developing.

  • Our team offers cutting-edge technologies including smart endoprosthetics and knee/femur replacements designed to grow with the patient.
  • Because pediatric patients require chemotherapy more often than adults do, our team works closely with Pediatric Oncologists and other subspecialists at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

Providers

Robin Francis, RN
Robin Francis RN, AHS, CST