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Outpatient Treatment Kills Benign Bone Tumors Nonsurgically With Heat

Research shows that an outpatient, nonsurgical treatment for a benign bone tumor called osteoid osteoma both destroys the tumor// and eliminates debilitating pain. The study showed that the treatment ended patients’ pain immediately, with no post-procedure complications. This nonsurgical technique — radiofrequency ablation — heats and destroys the nerve endings in the tumor that were causing pain. It also preserves the patient’s healthy bone, prevents major surgery and eliminates the need for lengthy rehabilitation and recovery. The interventional radiologist can visualize the tumor with CT and insert the needle into the correct area while monitoring the heat, thereby ensuring that the entire tumor is destroyed and will not grow back.

“Our research showed the interventional treatment’s success rate is as good as surgery’s, but without the risk. Plus, almost all of our patients walked out of the hospital within hours of the procedure pain-free,” says interventional radiologist Eran Hayeems, M.D., University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This treatment is available throughout the United States, is FDA-approved, and is covered by most insurance providers.

Often, lesions are deep inside the bone and not readily visible on the surface to a surgeon. Therefore surgeons must remove a wider area around the tumor, and still may not succeed in getting the entire tumor. For example, if a typical lesion is under 1 cm a surgeon may need to remove up to 5 cm of surrounding bone. This can sometimes result in bone grafting in order to prevent future bone fractures. The surgery can also require up to six months of rehabilitation. However, using CT imaging an interventional radiologist can pinpoint the precise location of the lesion and deliver a targeted treatment directly to the site, destroying the tumor inside the bone while leaving the remaining healthy bone intact. Radiofrequency ablation, performed by interventional
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