Radiofrequency ablation in bone neoplasia

Sean V. McGarry, C. Parker Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: In the past 15 years, radiofrequency ablation has emerged as one the most exciting new technologies in the field of orthopaedic oncology. Combined with major improvements in cross-sectional imaging (i.e. computed tomography), radiofrequency ablation has developed into an important tool in the treatment of bone neoplasia. This article will address the uses and misuses of radiofrequency ablation in bone neoplasia with a focus on recent developments. Recent findings: Radiofrequency ablation was initially applied to the treatment of osteoid osteoma as a way to avoid the morbidity associated with surgical excision. More recently, it is being used to treat bone metastases; the minimally invasive technique offers an intervention for patients in whom other treatment options have been unsuccessful or who would otherwise be poor surgical candidates. There are also recent reports in the literature of radiofrequency ablation being used to treat other bone neoplasia, both benign and malignant. In some centers, radiofrequency ablation is being combined with vertebroplasty in the treatment of metastatic cancer of the spine. Summary: Radiofrequency ablation has drastically changed the way we treat osteoid osteoma by significantly decreasing the morbidity associated with surgical resection. In recent years, its use has expanded into the treatment of cancer metastatic to bone, as well as other benign bone lesions. Because it can be used to treat patients who are not candidates for surgery and is able to give immediate pain relief, radiofrequency ablation may well play a significant role in the future treatment of patients with cancer metastatic to bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-488
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Orthopaedics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone metastases
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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