Symptoms & Conditions

I have a lump or bump on my arm/leg/body

Most lumps and bumps are not cancerous so don’t get too worried just yet. But, it is very important to know what type of lump or bump we are dealing with before it is treated. Nearly all lumps and bumps should be evaluated by some type of imaging before being removed or biopsied. Depending on the consistency and depth of the mass, you may need an ultrasound, CTScan or MRI to determine the exact location and type of mass. Only very small lumps located just beneath the skin should be removed prior to imaging.

Once our doctors have reviewed your tests, we may recommend you be sent for a needle biopsy, recommend removal of the mass or recommend it be watched closely with another scan in a few weeks to months. If we determine you need surgery to remove the mass, our physicians have specialty training in this type of tumor surgery so that you have the best chance of the tumor not coming back and the best function after surgery.

I have severe bone pain

While pain in the bones is often related to injuries or arthritis, if you think you may have a bone tumor or bone cancer, our physicians are specialty trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your problem. The first step in the evaluation of bone pain is to have our physicians examine the painful part of your body and have an X-Ray performed. Often times this is the only testing which needs to be done and treatment can commence at that point. Other times, we may need to order other tests such as blood work, CT, MRI or bone scans.

Once a reason for your bone pain has been established, our board-certified physicians are able to provide and/or direct any surgical or non-surgical treatment you may need. Whether you require surgical treatment of a fracture, a hip or knee replacement or need expert care of a bone tumor or bone cancer, our physicians can provide a wide spectrum of high-quality, compassionate orthopaedic care.

I have been diagnosed with bone cancer

Most bone cancer is actually cancer from another organ (most commonly breast, prostate, thyroid, kidney, or lung) which has spread or “metastasized” to the bones.

The other type of bone cancer actually starts in the bones. The two most common forms are osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma. Our physicians are specialty trained to evaluate and treat these problems. We also work closely with other physicians such as the medical oncologsits (chemotherapy) and the radiation oncologist (radiation treatment) when necessary to provide comprehensive care for patients with bone cancer.

In addition to providing expert care in surgical removal of bone cancers, our physicians aggressively practice Limb Preserving Surgery. This means we use the most cutting edge technologies to avoid an amputation or other disfiguring surgeries.

I have metastatic cancer to my bones or a pathologic fracture

When cancers from other parts of the body spread into the bones, this is called metastatic cancer. The most common sites from which cancer spreads to the bone are breast, prostate, lung, kidney and thyroid. When these cancers have reached advanced stages, they may spread to the bones and cause bone pain. If not caught early, the cancer can erode the bone and cause the bone to break. This is known as a pathologic fracture.

Evaluation of metastatic cancer is very important. In some cases when there is little to no bone destruction, you may not need surgery and can be treated with radiation. Other times, we may recommend you have surgery to stabilize the bone before it breaks. We refer to this as treatment of an “impending fracture.” The determination between a stable bone and an impending fracture can be difficult and is best done by a trained orthopaedic oncologist such as Dr. Mallin or Dr. Seidel.

If you have already sustained a pathologic fracture, it is important to seek treatment from an orthopaedic oncologist or an orthopaedic surgeon with experience in this type of treatment. Since these types of fractures do not heal like ordinary broken bones, specific surgical treatments and techniques must be used. In addition, many of these fractures will also be treated with radiation, so a strong working relationship with the radiation oncologist is necessary. As Orthopaedic Oncologists, our physicians are specialty trained in the most modern and effective methods to treat patients with a pathologic fracture.