Techniques in the management of juxta-articular aggressive and recurrent giant cell tumors around the knee

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2007 Mar;33(2):243-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2006.05.023. Epub 2006 Jul 5.


Aim: Juxta-articular aggressive and recurrent giant cell tumors around the knee pose difficulties in management. This article reviews current problems and options in the management of these giant cell tumors.

Methods: A systematic search was performed on juxta-articular aggressive and recurrent giant cell tumor. Additional information was retrieved from hand searching the literature and from relevant congress proceedings. We addressed the following issues: general consensus on early diagnosis and techniques in its management. In particular, we describe our results with resection arthrodesis performed combining the benefits of both interlocking intramedullary nail and Ilizarov fixator in the management of these tumors around the knee.

Results: Mean operative age of the 22 patients undergoing resection arthrodesis was 35.63 years. Seven lesions were in the tibia and fifteen in the femur. Mean length of the bone defect was 12.34 cm. The mean external fixator index was 7.44 days/cm and the distraction index was 7.88 days/cm. Mean period of follow-up for the patients was 64.5 months. The function of the affected limb was rated excellent in 10 and good and fair in six patients each as per Enneking criteria. No local recurrence of tumor was seen. Seven complications occurred in five patients.

Conclusion: Two-ring construct, bifocal bone transport, and early definite plate osteosynthesis with additional bone grafting of the docking site at the end of distraction even before consolidation of the regenerate helps to reduce the problems of pin tract infections drastically. Thin-diameter long intramedullary nail in addition to preserving the endosteal blood supply also prevents mal-alignment of the regenerate. Thus resection arthrodesis using interlocking intramedullary nail and bone transport using Ilizarov fixator is cost effective and effective in achieving the desired goals of reconstruction with least complications in selected patients with specific indications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthrodesis / methods
  • Arthrography
  • Bone Nails
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Giant Cell Tumor of Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Giant Cell Tumor of Bone / pathology
  • Giant Cell Tumor of Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Ilizarov Technique / instrumentation
  • Knee Joint*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome