Intraoperative ultrasound assistance for excision of impalpable musculoskeletal soft tissue tumors

Orthopedics. 2011 Sep 9;34(9):e570-3. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20110714-03.


Intraoperative ultrasonography is a useful tool for the detection and extirpation of liver metastases, breast masses, and melanoma. However, the efficacy of this technology in intraoperative localization and resection of small soft tissue tumors has not been addressed. The purpose of this study is to report on the efficacy of intraoperative ultrasound assistance in excising impalpable musculoskeletal soft tissue tumors. Twenty-two soft tissue tumors <3 cm (range, 0.7-3 cm) were resected with intraoperative ultrasound assistance. All tumors were localized in the deep panniculus, fascia, or muscle. Surgical time and length of incisions was recorded in all the cases. Intra- and postoperative reregistration was made to confirm the tumor resection. Ultrasound assistance was successful in obtaining an accurate localization in all treated cases. Mean surgical time was 30 minutes (range, 13-87 minutes). Average incision length was 5.7 cm (range, 2.5-10.6 cm). Reregistration allowed intraoperative confirmation of the adequacy of the excision. The procedure allowed recognized and excised additional nodules not previously diagnosed in 3 cases. Postoperative echography done in all patients confirmed complete extirpation of the tumors, and histopathology confirmed adequate margins obtained. Intraoperative ultrasound can be used as an efficient tool to localize and treat impalpable small soft tissue tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*