When someone receives the news that they have a tumor or tumor-like condition, it can be a scary time. That’s why we’re putting the spotlight on orthopedic oncology for Cancer Prevention Month. This particular specialty deals with conditions of the bone and soft tissue, including bone metastases, sarcomas, pathologic fractures, and benign and cancerous tumors of the bone or soft tissue.
What is an Orthopedic Oncologist?
An orthopedic oncologist, like Beacon’s own Joel Sorger, M.D., is a physician and surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of primary, benign, and malignant tumors of the bones. Like the disease itself, orthopedic oncologists are rare. There are just over 100 orthopedic oncologists in the United States.
Dr. Sorger specializes in revisionary total joint replacements of the hip and knee constantly continuing his education of these procedures. As the only orthopedic oncologist in southwest Ohio, Dr. Sorger is leading the way in cancer research on benign and malignant bone tumors.
The History of Orthopedic Oncology
Sarcomas were first characterized by what could be discerned by the naked eye in 1804 but then evolved to include examination of tissue specimens under a microscope in 1867. In its infancy, cancer treatment began with local surgical removal and amputation throughout medical history. Limb-sparing resection was pioneered in the middle of the 20th century. Nonsurgical treatments continued to evolve eventually resulting in the introduction of chemotherapy in the 1970s. These advancements continued to pave the way toward improved patient outcomes using cutting-edge, reconstructive techniques, which maintain a focus toward limb-saving surgery and improving survival rates.
What Does Orthopedic Oncology Treatment Plan Entail?
As an orthopedic oncology patient, you should expect to receive treatment and high-touch care from a skilled team that coordinates evaluation and diagnosis through a single point of contact. At Beacon, we discuss options with both your referring physician and you before creating a customized multidisciplinary treatment plan.
While every journey differs, it generally includes:
- Initial bone cancer diagnosis
- A determination of the preferred treatment protocol
- Surgery to remove all cancer cells followed by reconstructive surgery to restore function
- Follow-up treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy
- Pain management as needed
Ready to Address Chronic Pain?
While the advanced technical skills and expertise required by orthopedic oncology provide for successful diagnosis and treatment of bone cancer, our Beacon specialists are also able to apply specific techniques to treat patients with bone damage as a result of degenerative joint disease, arthritis, and complex fractures. Schedule an appointment today to learn more. We understand how shocking a cancer diagnosis can be. We’re here to help guide you on your journey with orthopedic oncology treatment specific to your needs.