Orthopedic Oncology department preserves patients’ active lifestyles

You’d never guess that Luke Adkins is a cancer survivor by looking at him. But the 24-year-old paramedic had his entire left knee and part of his femur replaced with an endoprosthesis (an artificial bone and joint) in 2011 due to osteosarcoma, and MD Anderson’s Orthopedic Oncology department has kept him active and on his feet. “I feel very fortunate,” Luke says. “I live in Lubbock, and removal of my leg was pretty much the only option if I had been treated there.” Second opinion yields internal prosthesis Instead of having his leg amputated, Luke came to MD Anderson for a second opinion. He ended up working with Valerae Lewis, M.D., who leads our Orthopedic Oncology department. “I was in Houston for about a month after the surgery, and when I left, I walked out of hospital,” Luke says. “I fully credit MD Anderson and Dr. Lewis for that.” Today, high-impact sports such as running, skiing and wakeboarding are no longer an option for Luke. But having an artificial knee and internal prosthesis has not prevented him from achieving any of his career goals. Luke works in the physically demanding field of emergency medicine. He also serves as a member of his county’s volunteer fire department, which required him to pass a physical fitness test. “I have no regrets,” Luke says. “I get around just fine. Some things are harder than others, but I don’t have any pain, and I don’t take any medicines. This has limited me in nothing.” Orthopedic Oncology’s goal is to have patients walking again MD Anderson’s Orthopedic Oncology program is unique, Lewis explains, because we’re...

Orthopedic Oncology department preserves patients’ active lifestyles

You’d never guess that Luke Adkins is a cancer survivor by looking at him. But the 24-year-old paramedic had his entire left knee and part of his femur replaced with an endoprosthesis (an artificial bone and joint) in 2011 due to osteosarcoma, and MD Anderson’s Orthopedic Oncology department has kept him active and on his feet. “I feel very fortunate,” Luke says. “I live in Lubbock, and removal of my leg was pretty much the only option if I had been treated there.” Second opinion yields internal prosthesis Instead of having his leg amputated, Luke came to MD Anderson for a second opinion. He ended up working with Valerae Lewis, M.D., who leads our Orthopedic Oncology department. “I was in Houston for about a month after the surgery, and when I left, I walked out of hospital,” Luke says. “I fully credit MD Anderson and Dr. Lewis for that.” Today, high-impact sports such as running, skiing and wakeboarding are no longer an option for Luke. But having an artificial knee and internal prosthesis has not prevented him from achieving any of his career goals. Luke works in the physically demanding field of emergency medicine. He also serves as a member of his county’s volunteer fire department, which required him to pass a physical fitness test. “I have no regrets,” Luke says. “I get around just fine. Some things are harder than others, but I don’t have any pain, and I don’t take any medicines. This has limited me in nothing.” Orthopedic Oncology’s goal is to have patients walking again MD Anderson’s Orthopedic Oncology program is unique, Lewis explains, because we’re...