Orthopedic Oncology

UW Health orthopedic oncology specialists provide an in-depth multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal tumors in both children and adults. Orthopedic surgeons at UW Hospital maintain clinical expertise in radiographic and histologic diagnosis, biopsy and limb salvage techniques. Orthopedic oncology specialists work collaboratively with the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, the state's only comprehensive cancer center.
As cancer therapy continues to advance, encouraging trends have emerged with regard to longer survival rates for many types of cancer. But along with the longer survival of these patients, late metastatic disease to the skeleton has become an increasingly common problem. Metastatic disease is a cancer that started in another location and spread to the bones. Cancers most likely to spread to bone include cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, kidney and thyroid.
Particularly in patients with breast and prostate cancer, it is not unusual for patients to now survive for years with metastatic disease to the bones. Such patients require more prolonged treatment after the development of metastatic disease. Patients with other, more rapidly-progressive types of bone malignancies may also benefit from multiple therapies designed to minimize bone pain and pathologic fractures.
Highly Specialized Care
UW Hospital is among the few health care facilities in the region providing expertise in the highly specialized, complicated treatment of: 
  • Bone tumors
  • Soft tissue tumors
  • Metastatic disease 
If your doctor refers you to UW Health for this highly specialized care, our musculoskeletal oncology specialists will work with your primary care physician to develop a treatment plan that may include radiation, surgery, medication, chemotherapy or a combination of therapies catered to the location and type of your tumor.
Innovative Research
Through research and clinical trials, our specialists are in tune with the newest and most effective orthopedic oncology therapies. For instance, UW Health specialists employ innovative methods of delivering radiation to tumors prior to surgery, which can significantly shrink the tumor's size. If a tumor is smaller before surgeons attempt to remove it, less tissue will need to be removed during surgery, thereby increasing the chances that the affected body part will be functional after surgery.