Clinical Case Study: Limb-Sparing Sarcoma Surgery

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In this clinical case study video, Kristy Weber, MD, Chief of Orthopaedic Oncology at Penn Medicine, shares her approach to limb-sparing surgery for a patient with synovial sarcoma of the knee after the patient’s original surgeon missed initial signs of the disease. 

“Synovial sarcoma is a soft tissue cancer so it occurs in the muscles around but not inside of a joint,” Dr. Weber explains. “It is rare, and it would be quite common for a physician or surgeon to not recognize it, if it wasn’t their area of practice. Regardless of its rarity—it’s still a deadly cancer. Patients die of synovial sarcoma, as they do of other sarcomas, unless we are able to treat them, remove the cancer and prevent the spread of the disease to the lungs or other sites of the body.”

Dr. Weber reviews the risk/benefit assessments that permitted both limb-sparing and cancer resection, and discusses the complex procedure, which combined microsurgery, advanced imaging and radiation. 

Her patient, a former athlete, recovered and has returned to normal daily activities: “She was actually walking earlier than we expected her to walk, and she’s just continued that pace on through her recovery. She’s now running and working out on a regular basis.” 

Ortho Oncology at Penn Medicine

Dr. Weber and her colleague Robert Wilson II, MD, practice in the Orthopaedic Oncology Program at the Abramson Cancer Center, specializing in the treatment of patients with soft tissue sarcoma, malignant and benign bone tumors, and metastatic bone disease. 

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