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Tumours in orthopaedic surgery refer to abnormal growths or masses that develop within the bones, soft tissues, or joints of the musculoskeletal system. These tumours can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Orthopaedic tumours can originate from bone tissue (primary bone tumours) or spread to the musculoskeletal system from other parts of the body (metastatic tumours).
There are several types of tumours that can affect the musculoskeletal system:
Benign bone tumours: Examples of benign bone tumours include osteochondromas, enchondromas, and giant cell tumours. These tumours do not spread to other parts of the body and are usually treated with observation, surgical removal, or other targeted treatment options.
Malignant bone tumours: Malignant bone tumours, such as osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, and chondrosarcoma, are cancerous tumours that can invade surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Treatment often involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Soft tissue sarcomas: Soft tissue sarcomas are cancerous tumours that develop in the soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Examples include liposarcoma, synovial sarcoma, and malignant fibrous histiocytoma. Treatment typically involves surgical removal of the tumour, followed by radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy.
Metastatic tumours: Metastatic tumours occur when cancer cells from other parts of the body spread to the bones or soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system. These tumours are treated based on the primary cancer and may involve a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies.
The diagnosis of orthopaedic tumours involves a thorough evaluation, which may include imaging studies (such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI, or PET scans), biopsy, and laboratory tests. A multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists collaborate to determine the best treatment approach.
Treatment for orthopaedic tumours depends on several factors, including the type, location, and stage of the tumour, as well as the individual's overall health.
Treatment options may include:
Surgical resection: Surgery is often the primary treatment for orthopaedic tumours. It involves removing the tumour and a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete excision. In some cases, limb-sparing surgery may be performed to preserve function and mobility.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumours. It may be used before or after surgery or as the primary treatment for inoperable tumours.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells throughout the body. It may be administered before or after surgery or as the primary treatment for certain types of tumours.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapies are medications that specifically target cancer cells or their supporting structures. They work by interfering with specific molecular pathways involved in tumour growth and spread.
Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation and physical therapy play a crucial role in restoring function, mobility, and quality of life after orthopaedic tumour treatment. These therapies help individuals regain strength, flexibility, and independence.