Musculoskeletal Oncology

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Our musculoskeletal oncology specialists treat patients diagnosed with a wide variety of orthopedic oncologic problems. We are nationally recognized for our expertise in the treatment of these conditions.

Commonly Treated Conditions

  • Metastatic Lesions to the Bone
  • Primary Bone Tumors — Benign
  • Primary Bone Tumors — Malignant
    • Chondrosarcoma
    • Ewing's Sarcoma
    • Osteosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Soft Tissue Tumors — Benign and Malignant

Treatment Approach

In collaboration with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Siteman Cancer Center, we diagnose and treat patients of all ages with benign, malignant, and metastatic diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Benign tumors include: 

  • Osteochondromas and other cartilage lesions
  • Bone cysts
  • Giant cell tumors
  • Nerve sheath tumors
Malignant tumors include:


  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ewing's sarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities, chest wall and sacrum

Chordomas and other complex sacral tumors are treated with a multidisciplinary approach, including spine surgeons and  colorectal surgeons, to maximize oncologic and functional results. From a surgical standpoint, the goal is to completely remove the tumor, while persevering and maximizing extremity function. In nearly all patients with benign tumors, this can be accomplished while maintaining a functional extremity, even in patients with primary malignancy. Because of our extensive experience in limb salvage techniques, we are able to avoid amputation in more than 90 percent of surgical cases. Specific techniques used in limb reconstruction after tumor removal include: 

  • Large fragment allograft reconstruction
  • Metallic endoprosthetic bone and joint reconstruction
  • Vascularized fibular graft reconstruction

We offer expandable endoprosthetic implants for growing children and adolescents to optimize limb length equality. In the event that amputation is required to control a tumor, we have the skill and experience to perform these procedures safely and effectively, even in technically demanding areas like hemipelvectomies and forequarter amputations. We are the only center in St. Louis to offer an advanced prosthetic implant system called osseointegration, which can improve a patient's quality of life by increasing mobility and function. We also coordinate prosthetic fitting and rehabilitation, from pre-operative consultation to post-operative therapy. 

For all patients, rehabilitation starts as soon as possible after surgery. Inpatient rehabilitation focuses  on teaching patients how to move and function safely with  reconstructed limbs and continues on an outpatient basis.

Research & Clinical Trials

For information on current clinical trials related to orthopedics, or to make an appointment with a specialist with Washington University Orthopedics, please call (314) 514-3500 or toll free (866) 867-3627.

Meet Our Team

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Ian English, MD, MA

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Regis O'Keefe, MD, PhD

Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Interim Chief, Musculoskeletal Oncology

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Patient Stories

Brooke Cantwell

Brooke Cantwell - Primary Bone Cancer

Brooke Cantwell was a happy, active teen rapidly approaching the end of 8th grade and looking forward to high school. A competitive dancer and athlete, she took aches and pains in stride. So when her knee gave out and she fell while performing a dance routine, Cantwell thought it was either severely bruised or, worse, that she tore a ligament.

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Patient Education

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