If your tumor is growing on your arm or leg bones, your doctor may want to talk to you about limb sparing surgery. This advanced surgical technique is your best chance for saving the limb and not having to wear a prosthesis. Your doctor will weigh the risks and benefits with you, including what the chances are for recurrence if this type of surgery is performed.
At Wake Forest Baptist, our orthopaedic surgeons have perfected limb sparing, or limb salvage surgery. During limb sparing surgery, your surgeon will remove the malignant tumor, as well as surrounding bone, ligament and other tissues. If necessary, your surgeon will use bone allografts, material that can strengthen the area where the tumor was growing, or metal implants to replace some of the bone or tissue that was lost.
Patients who have these procedures do not have to wear a prosthesis, and after rehabilitative therapy, are able to go back to their normal lives.
Limb Surgery for Soft Tissue Sarcoma
In the past, a patient with soft tissue sarcoma in an arm or leg often faced amputation in order to get rid of the cancer entirely. While amputation is still necessary on occasion, it is by no means the standard approach. Most patients undergo limb sparing surgery, with additional treatments of surgery and radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
There are cases in which surgery is not an option; for example, if the sarcoma has spread over an extensive area and cannot be removed. In this case, your doctor will use a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat the cancer.