Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 365–371 | Cite as

Primary tumors of the patella

A review of 42 cases
  • Mark J. Kransdorf
  • Richard P. MoserJr.
  • Tuyethoa N. Vinh
  • Jun Aoki
  • John J. Callaghan


This study reports 42 cases of histologically proven and radiographically correlated primary patellar tumors. Despite diverse histologic diagnoses, the radiographic appearances of benign as opposed to malignant patellar neoplasms are essentially indistinguishable. Although the literature suggests that giant cell tumor is the most frequent benign tumor of the patella, the most common benign neoplasm in this series is chondroblastoma (16 cases). Only four primary malignant lesions were encountered, three cases of lymphoma and one case of hemangioendothelioma. Since 38 (90%) of the 42 cases were benign, a benign etiology should be strongly favored, notwithstanding the radiographic appearance, whenever a primary patellar tumor is encountered.

Key words

Bone tumors Patella Patellar tumors Skeletal neoplasms 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ashby ME, Dappen N (1976) Esophageal carcinoma metastatic to the patella: A case report. JAMA 235:2519Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bansal VP, Singh R, Grewal DS, Bannerjee AK (1974) Haemangioma of the patella: a report of two cases. J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 56:139Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carter TE, Detenbeck LC (1974) Intraosseous ganglion cyst of the patella: Report of a case. Tex Med 70:95Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cole WH (1925) Primary tumors of the patella. J Bone Joint Surg 7:637Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Copeland CX, Enneking WF, Robbins WJ (1966) Aneurysmal bone cyst of the patella: A report of two cases. Clin Orthop 45:145Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dahlin DC, Unni KK (1986) Bone tumors: General aspects and data on 8542 cases, 4th edn. Charles C. Thomas, SpringfieldGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fade RJ (1985) A rare case of chondroblastoma patella in a jumping athlete. J Ky Med Assoc 83:133Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Faris WF, Rubin BD, Fielding JW (1978) Aneurysmal bone cyst of the patella: A case report. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 60:711Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gall EP, Didizian NA, Park Y (1974) Acute monarticular arthritis following patellar metastasis. JAMA 229:288Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hussey HH (1976) The vertebral venous system: editorial. JAMA 235:2524Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Insall J (1982) Current concepts review: Patellar pain. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 64:147Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Johanson PH (1968) Tumors of the patella: Letter to the editor. JAMA 206:650Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Joyce MJ, Mankin HJ (1983) Caveat arthroscopos: Extra-articular lesions of bone simulating intra-articular pathology of the knee. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 65:289Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Keeley CD (1973) Patellar metastases from carcinoma of the male breast. Can J Surg 16:328Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lammot TR (1968) Enchondroma of the patella. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 50:1230Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lewis MM, Bullough PG (1976) An unusual case of a cystic chondroblastoma of the patella. Clin Orthop 121:1988Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lewis MM, Reilly JF (1987) Sports tumors. Am J Sports Med 15:362Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Linscheid RL, Dahlin DC (1966) Unusual lesions of the patella. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 48:1359Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Park BM, Chung IH (1969) Aneurysmal bone cyst: A case report. Yonsei Med J 10:76Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rothermel FJ, Miller FJ, Hottenstein DW, Dunn EJ (1977) Metastases to the patella with bone scan, tomography, magnification film correlation. Penn Med 80:50Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schajowicz F, Gallardo H (1970) Epiphyseal chondroblastoma of bone: A clinico-pathological study of sixty-nine cases. J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 52:205Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schultz E, Greenspan A (1986) Case report 378: A patella bone cyst. Skeletal Radiol 15:405Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Srivastava KK, Kochhar VL (1973) Giant-cell tumor of the patella. Aust NZ J Surg 43:267Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Stoler B, Staple TW (1969) Metastases to the patella. Radiology 93:853Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wientroub S, Salama R, Baratz M, Papo I, Weissman SL (1979) Unicameral bone cyst of the patella. Clin Orthop 140:159Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wilson JS, Genant HK, Carlsson A, Murray WR (1976) Patellar giant cell tumor. AJR 127:856Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Skeletal Society 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Kransdorf
    • 1
    • 6
  • Richard P. MoserJr.
    • 2
    • 6
  • Tuyethoa N. Vinh
    • 3
  • Jun Aoki
    • 2
  • John J. Callaghan
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyWalter Reed Army Medical CenterWashington, D.C.
  2. 2.Department of Radiologic PathologyArmed Forces Institute of PathologyWashington, D.C.
  3. 3.Department Orthopedic PathologyArmed Forces Institute of PathologyWashington, D.C.
  4. 4.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryDuke UniversityDurham
  5. 5.the Department of Orthopedic SurgeryWalter Reed Army Medical CenterWashington, D.C.USA
  6. 6.Department of Radiology and Nuclear MedicineUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesda

Personalised recommendations