Treatments for Bone Disorders

Specific treatment for a bone disorder will be determined by your doctor 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 (for example, 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 (autograft) or from a donor (allograft) 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 include intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton beam radiation. 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.