What is limb salvage surgery?
It is a surgical procedure where the bone cancer surgeon removes the bone tumor with oncological principles and retains adequate soft tissue, bony structures and neurovascular bundles (blood pipes and nerves) to give a good functional outcome
Who has to do limb salvage surgery?
Well trained Musculo-Skeletal Oncosurgeon is the ideal person to perform limb salvage surgeries
Can limb salvage surgery be done in all bone cancer patients?
A few decades back most of the bone cancer patients were treated with an amputation but today with sophisticated imaging, adjuvant treatment like chemotherapy and radiotherapy we are able to save limb in 90-95% of patients
In which cases limb salvage is not possible?
We won’t be able to save limbs in cases who present late to bone cancer specialist with huge tumors, tumors involving blood pipes and nerves, improperly done biopsy or in patients who have undergone incorrect surgical procedures
How complicated limb salvage surgeries are?
Limb salvage is major surgical procedures; the complications like infection, injury to vital structures are slightly higher compared to conventional orthopedic surgeries. Limb salvage surgery requires a team of expert doctors, good anesthesia team, sophisticated operation theatre, high-end equipment, and supportive blood bank. The complication of limb salvage surgeries has dramatically come down with well trained Musculo-Skeletal Oncosurgeons.
What are the options available to fill the defect after bone tumor removal?
We classify reconstruction methods into two types
- Non-Biological method
- Artificial metallic bones
- Growing metallic bones for children
- Plate / nail cement spacers
- Biological Methods
- Allograft – Bone obtained from Bone bank
- Autograft – patients own bone
- Sterilized tumor bone- we have techniques to sterilize the tumor bone (kill all the cancer cells) and we can put it back in the same place.
Dr.Suman Byregowda | Consultant Musculo-Skeletal Oncosurgeon | Mazumdar Shaw Narayana Hrudhalaya Cancer Center, Bangalore