Giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath of the hand

Bhavuk Garg, Prakash P Kotwal
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery 2011, 19 (2): 218-20

PURPOSE: To review outcomes of 106 patients after complete excision of the giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath of the hand, with or without postoperative radiotherapy.

METHODS: Records of 77 women and 29 men aged 11 to 61 (mean, 31) years who underwent excision of giant cell tumours of the tendon sheath of the hand were reviewed. All patients presented with gradually progressive swelling; only 3 of them also presented with pain. The lesions were located on the dorsal aspect (n=11), the palmar aspect (n=66), both aspects (n=10), or circumferentially (n=14). No patient had multiple lesions. Five patients had bony erosion and 3 had neurovascular bundle involvement.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up period was 12 (range, 4-22) years. 56 patients with well-encapsulated giant cell tumour in the palmer and/or dorsal aspects were classified as at low risk of recurrence. The remaining 50 patients were classified as at high risk of recurrence and underwent postoperative radiotherapy. None of the patients at low risk had any recurrence; 4 of those at high risk had recurrence despite radiotherapy. No complication was attributable to the irradiation, except that 3 patients had some dark pigmentation around the wound scar.

CONCLUSION: Postoperative radiotherapy may have a role in reducing recurrence of the giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath of the hand.

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