Malignant Bone Tumors

Malignant bone tumors are extremely rare and are called bone sarcomas. Surgeons at GDO are regional experts in the surgical management of bone sarcoma. Experience is important to ensure optimal outcomes. GDO surgeons perform the highest volume of bone sarcoma surgery in the DFW area. Quality outcomes with functional limbs are the expectation. The most common malignant bone tumors include osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, lymphoma, and myeloma.

Malignant bone tumors can start in any bone and in all age groups. Early diagnosis is the key to success in these patients. Referral to an orthopedic tumor surgeon is necessary to ensure that the correct diagnosis is established and that the best treatment plan is instituted in a timely manner.


Imaging is necessary to diagnose a malignant bone tumor. Often, multiple imaging studies must be evaluated carefully by an orthopedic tumor specialist to make sure that the most accurate diagnosis is rendered. These tumors can often be diagnosed with x-ray, CT scan, MRI, bone scan, or PET scan.


A biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis of a malignant bone tumor and is usually done in the setting of a minor outpatient surgery. Tissue can be sent as a frozen section so that the preliminary diagnosis is known the same day. Biopsy of musculoskeletal tumors should be performed by specialists who do this procedure regularly, as an inappropriate biopsy can lead to significant preventable and severe complications.


Malignant bone tumors are often treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Usually, multiple specialists will be involved in the patient’s care including the surgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist. If surgery is required GDO surgeons remove the tumor and then reconstruct the bone defect with a prosthesis and/or cadaver bone. These surgeries are very complicated and best done by an experienced surgeon.