Percutaneous Thermal Ablation Techniques for the Treatment of Musculoskeletal Metastases


Musculoskeletal metastases, particularly those affecting bone, are common and associated with significant morbidity in cancer patients. Percutaneous ablation of soft-tissue and/or bone metastases can provide relief of pain and local disease control for properly selected patients. Although multiple technologies for percutaneous ablation exist, the thermal-based techniques of radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation are the most established and most often used technologies in practice. Focused ultrasound surgery is a noninvasive ablation technique that has shown great promise, but has not yet been incorporated into routine clinical practice. Microwave ablation is another relatively new modality for percutaneous ablation that has shown early promise, but is also not yet routinely used in practice. This article reviews the indications, procedural techniques, and outcomes for percutaneous thermal ablation, specifically radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation, in the management of patients with musculoskeletal metastases.

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