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Cryosurgery and Impaction Subchondral Bone Graft for the Treatment of Giant Cell Tumor Around the Knee

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HSS Journal


Giant cell tumors are neoplasms of mesenchymal stromal cells with varied manifestations. There is no uniform accepted treatment protocol for these tumors. Curettage, although an accepted method of treatment, carries a high local recurrence rate. Adjuvant therapies including high-speed burr debridement, cryotherapy, and phenol treatment have been advocated to reduce local recurrence. We have used these adjuvants to determine if improved cure rate with improved outcomes could be attained with regard to local tumor control and functional outcome. Twenty-eight cases of proven giant cell tumors of the distal femur and proximal tibia were included in this prospective case series. The lesions were at the upper tibia in 14 cases and the lower femur in 14 patients. The patients were evaluated clinically, radiologically, and by histological examination. Companacci grading and Enneking staging were determined. The treatment was done in the following steps: Curettage and further debridement with a high-speed burr, cryotherapy, impaction of the cavity with subchondral iliac crest bone graft, and, finally, cementation with or without internal fixation. Functional evaluation was done by Enneking’s system. The follow-up time was between 24–40 months with a mean of 34 months. The functional results of the procedure were rated as good to excellent with a mean of 93.9%. This technique has the advantages of joint preservation, excellent functional outcome, and low recurrence rate when compared with other treatment modalities. For these reasons, it is recommended as an adjuvant to curettage for most giant cell tumors of bone.

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Correspondence to Ayman Abdelaziz Bassiony MD.

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None of the authors received financial support for this study.

The Research Ethics Committee (REC, FWA 0000644) of the Faculty of Medicine Ain Shams University has approved this study from the scientific and ethical point of view (FMASU94\2009). This study meets the ethical standards and comply with the national as well as the local standards set within the department.

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Abdelrahman, M., Bassiony, A.A., Shalaby, H. et al. Cryosurgery and Impaction Subchondral Bone Graft for the Treatment of Giant Cell Tumor Around the Knee. HSS Jrnl 5, 123–128 (2009).

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