A hemangioendothelioma is a cancerous tumor of bone, made of cells named endothelial cells. There is a low rate of metastasis, or spreading, to other parts of the body.
Hemangioendotheliomas are cancerous aggressive tumors that, if left unchecked, will grow and destroy your normal bone. Clinically, local pain and swelling may be the first signs of a growing hemangioendothelioma. As the tumor slowly grows, the bone is weakened and you are at an increased risk of breaking the bone due to the tumor (called a pathological fracture). They may also spread to your lungs or other bones.
Radiographic imaging is used to help form a diagnosis. These include X-Ray, MRI, CT and Bone Scans.
An example of a X-Ray is shown.
Limb sparing surgery is the preferred treatment. In low-grade lesions, the standard of treatment is commonly curettage, or scooping out the tumor with a instrument called a curette. This is often sufficient for curing the disease, if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). Other treatments include surgical ablation and radiation.
Intralesional Curettage means to scoop the tumor out using a spoon-like tool called a curette. This is a surgery that aims to remove the mass and restore the bone so that the patient can get back to normal function. The hemangioendothelioma is identified within the bone and scooped, or curetted, out. The cavity is then shaved down with a Midas Rex Drill, which is similar to a dental drill. This drill removes more tumor cells.
Radiation is a treatment option for some cancers. Radiation therapy is a localized treatment that utilizes high-energy particles or waves to kill cancerous cells. Because radiation therapy is a localized treatment, it only affects the area in which it is set to target and therefore eliminates the risks of damaging healthy cells throughout the body. Not only is it used to treat cancer, but it can also decrease the chances of the cancer from recurring. Lastly, radiation may be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, to treat cancers.
I've seen many doctors and I can confidently attest Dr. Wittig is the preeminent orthopaedic specialist. He is genuinely kind and caring, as he demonstrated by completely addressing my concerns and compassionately relating to what I was dealing with. He clearly outlined the plan of attack, and recommended the two additional doctors who would become part of my 'team'. Dr. Wittig was so effective in allaying our fears and bringing us optimism. My surgery was significant, but I was up and walking the next day and back at the gym 5 weeks later. This is further testament to Dr. Wittig's skill. He saved my leg and my life, and I feel so very blessed to say he is my doctor. I have already recommended him to others, and I will continue to do so. I would trust him with my closest family and lifelong friends. BEST DOCTOR EVER.
Myself and my amazing team are dedicated to saving your life and your limb. Losing a limb because of a tumor can be a terrifying experience. But, it does not have to be the only option. I’ve spent 20+ years as a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Orthopedic Oncologist.
I’ve devoted my career to helping children and adults afflicted with bone and soft tissue masses by performing complex limb saving surgeries. Most patients can have their limb saved, which may require innovative techniques.
Patients afflicted with musculoskeletal tumors have complex conditions that are best taken care of at large hospitals. I am the Chairman of Orthopedics and Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at Morristown Medical Center. My philosophy is a multidisciplinary team approach, working together to tailor treatment to individual patients. Education and research are essential to my practice, providing the best setting for extraordinary patient care. Because of this, we have some of the top results in the country.