Orthopaedic Treatment Overview

Treatment for bone disorders:

Specific treatment for a bone disorder will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • assistive devices (i.e., casts or crutches)
  • core decompression - a surgical procedure in which the inner layer of bone is removed to reduce pressure, allow for increased blood flow, and slow or stop bone and/or joint destruction.
  • osteotomy - a surgical procedure to reshape the bone and reduce stress on the affected area.
  • bone graft - a surgical procedure in which healthy bone is transplanted from another part of the patient's body into the affected area.
  • arthroplasty (total joint replacement) - a surgical procedure to remove and replace an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint (called a prosthesis); may be considered only after other treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from pain and/or disability.
  • chemotherapy - when cancer is present, this systemic procedure involves the use of drugs to destroy the cancer cells.
  • surgery - when cancer is present, surgery may include biopsy to diagnose and stage the cancer, and/or a procedure to remove the cancerous tissue or tumor.
  • amputation - although limb-sparing surgery normally is the goal, sometimes, the extent of the cancer requires that an entire limb be removed, a surgical procedure called amputation.
  • radiation therapy - when cancer is present, radiation may be used to kill cancerous cells. This type of treatment may include the following:
    • external beam radiation - external beam therapy is delivered externally from a machine directed to the cancer inside the patient. Examples of external beam therapy machines include linear accelerators, cobalt machines, or orthovoltage x-ray machines. The type of machine used will be determined by the radiation oncologist.

      External beam therapy delivers ionizing radiation to the cancer, destroying cancer cells.
    • internal radiation - radioactive pellets are implanted in the affected area.

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