Three-dimensional printed, proximal phalangeal prosthesis with metatarsophalangeal joint arthroplasty for the treatment of a giant cell tumor of the fifth toe: The first case report

Int J Surg Case Rep. 2020:73:84-89. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2020.06.069. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


Introduction: The majority of patients with bone sarcoma or an aggressive benign tumor of the toe can be successfully treated by amputation. However, limb-salvage surgery for toe tumors remains challenging.

Presentation of case: A 26-year-old female presented with an enlarging mass on her right 5th toe. Imaging studies revealed an expansile osteolytic, destructive lesion of the proximal phalanx of the 5th toe with metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint invasion. A biopsy specimen confirmed a grade 1, giant cell tumor of the bone. An en bloc resection of the proximal phalanx was performed, and the defect was reconstructed with a patient-matched, three-dimensional, printed titanium proximal phalanx endoprosthesis with an MTP joint extension. The postoperative course was uneventful. The patient has walked with full weight-bearing since early postoperatively. No local recurrence or metastases were evident. However, scar formation occurred after two years, causing an overriding toe deformity.

Discussion: This case represents the first use of a toe prosthesis with MTP joint reconstruction. The complex MTP structure with a preserved metatarsal head facilitates the effort to mimic normal weight-bearing.

Conclusion: A three-dimensional printed prosthesis of the 5th toe is a viable alternative to a bone graft or amputation. However, to avoid stiffness and complications, further study is needed to improve the prosthesis design.

Keywords: Case report; Giant cell tumor of bone; Metatarsophalangeal joint replacement; Phalangeal tumor; Three-dimensional printed prosthesis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports