Penn Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Oncology Conditions & Treatments

The Penn Orthopaedic Oncology Service treats patients with cancerous and noncancerous tumors that affect the limbs, spine or pelvis. These tumors can be potentially fatal and have devastating effects on patients' quality of life. Cancers of the bone and soft tissue are called sarcomas and are rare compared to the more common carcinomas that develop in the breast, lung, colon and other areas.

Conditions Treated

Soft tissue sarcomas occur typically as deep painless masses in the legs, arms and pelvis. The most common soft tissue sarcomas include:

  • Myxo fibro sarcoma
  • Liposarcoma
  • Synovial sarcoma

Bone sarcoma can begin in any bone in the body, but most commonly affects the long bones that make up the arms and legs. The most common bone sarcomas include:


Penn Orthopaedic Oncology provides treatment for cancerous and noncancerous tumors of the musculoskeletal system, including:

  • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH)
  • Liposarcoma
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Ewing's sarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Malignant and benign tumors of the bone and soft tissues
  • Metastatic cancers that start elsewhere in the body and spread to the bone.

As with most cancers, early detection and treatment provides the best chance for successful treatment. Not all orthopaedic oncology treatments require surgery. Penn also offers patients state-of the-art non-surgical techniques including:

When surgery is required, the goal is to shrink tumors as much as possible before surgery to minimize damage to surrounding bone or tissue. Penn's team has a special interest in limb preservation techniques and major reconstructions following limb removal.