My niece has been diagnosed with bone cancer. The doctors have talked to the family about "limb salvage." What is this?

In the past, bone tumors couldn't be removed without destroying the bone. This often required an amputation. Today, tumors can be removed and surgery done to reconstruct the arm or leg. This is referred to as limb salvage.

Sometimes it is possible to save the arm or leg, but the person can't use the limb. A limb salvage rating system has been devised. This is a way to measure how useful the body part is after salvage and reconstruction. Some people still decide to have amputation if the limb can be saved but not used. Surgery methods continue to improve, making this choice less and less common.