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Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 3, Issue 7 | Pages 515 - 528
1 Jul 2022
van der Heijden L Bindt S Scorianz M Ng C Gibbons MCLH van de Sande MAJ Campanacci DA


Giant cell tumour of bone (GCTB) treatment changed since the introduction of denosumab from purely surgical towards a multidisciplinary approach, with recent concerns of higher recurrence rates after denosumab. We evaluated oncological, surgical, and functional outcomes for distal radius GCTB, with a critically appraised systematic literature review.


We included 76 patients with distal radius GCTB in three sarcoma centres (1990 to 2019). Median follow-up was 8.8 years (2 to 23). Seven patients underwent curettage, 38 curettage with adjuvants, and 31 resection; 20 had denosumab.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 103-B, Issue 4 | Pages 788 - 794
1 Apr 2021
Spierenburg G Lancaster ST van der Heijden L Mastboom MJL Gelderblom H Pratap S van de Sande MAJ Gibbons CLMH


Tenosynovial giant cell tumour (TGCT) is one of the most common soft-tissue tumours of the foot and ankle and can behave in a locally aggressive manner. Tumour control can be difficult, despite the various methods of treatment available. Since treatment guidelines are lacking, the aim of this study was to review the multidisciplinary management by presenting the largest series of TGCT of the foot and ankle to date from two specialized sarcoma centres.


The Oxford Tumour Registry and the Leiden University Medical Centre Sarcoma Registry were retrospectively reviewed for patients with histologically proven foot and ankle TGCT diagnosed between January 2002 and August 2019.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 96-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1111 - 1118
1 Aug 2014
van der Heijden L Mastboom MJL Dijkstra PDS van de Sande MAJ

We retrospectively reviewed 30 patients with a diffuse-type giant-cell tumour (Dt-GCT) (previously known as pigmented villonodular synovitis) around the knee in order to assess the influence of the type of surgery on the functional outcome and quality of life (QOL). Between 1980 and 2001, 15 of these tumours had been treated primarily at our tertiary referral centre and 15 had been referred from elsewhere with recurrent lesions.

The mean follow-up was 64 months (24 to 393). Functional outcome and QOL were assessed with range of movement and the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), the Musculoskeletal Tumour Society (MSTS) score, the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score (TESS) and the SF-36 questionnaire. There was recurrence in four of 14 patients treated initially by open synovectomy. Local control was achieved after a second operation in 13 of 14 (93%). Recurrence occurred in 15 of 16 patients treated initially by arthroscopic synovectomy. These patients underwent a mean of 1.8 arthroscopies (one to eight) before open synovectomy. This achieved local control in 8 of 15 (53%) after the first synovectomy and in 12 of 15 (80%) after two. The functional outcome and QOL of patients who had undergone primary arthroscopic synovectomy and its attendant subsequent surgical procedures were compared with those who had had a primary open synovectomy using the following measures: range of movement (114º versus 127º; p = 0.03); KOOS (48 versus 71; p = 0.003); MSTS (19 versus 24; p = 0.02); TESS (75 versus 86; p = 0.03); and SF-36 (62 versus 80; p = 0.01).

Those who had undergone open synovectomy needed fewer subsequent operations. Most patients who had been referred with a recurrence had undergone an initial arthroscopic synovectomy followed by multiple further synovectomies. At the final follow-up of eight years (2 to 32), these patients had impaired function and QOL compared with those who had undergone open synovectomy initially.

We conclude that the natural history of Dt-GCT in patients who are treated by arthroscopic synovectomy has an unfavourable outcome, and that primary open synovectomy should be undertaken to prevent recurrence or residual disease.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014; 96-B:1111–18.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 6 | Pages 838 - 845
1 Jun 2013
Oliveira VC van der Heijden L van der Geest ICM Campanacci DA Gibbons CLMH van de Sande MAJ Dijkstra PDS

Giant cell tumours (GCTs) of the small bones of the hands and feet are rare. Small case series have been published but there is no consensus about ideal treatment. We performed a systematic review, initially screening 775 titles, and included 12 papers comprising 91 patients with GCT of the small bones of the hands and feet. The rate of recurrence across these publications was found to be 72% (18 of 25) in those treated with isolated curettage, 13% (2 of 15) in those treated with curettage plus adjuvants, 15% (6 of 41) in those treated by resection and 10% (1 of 10) in those treated by amputation.

We then retrospectively analysed 30 patients treated for GCT of the small bones of the hands and feet between 1987 and 2010 in five specialised centres. The primary treatment was curettage in six, curettage with adjuvants (phenol or liquid nitrogen with or without polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)) in 18 and resection in six. We evaluated the rate of complications and recurrence as well as the factors that influenced their functional outcome.

At a mean follow-up of 7.9 years (2 to 26) the rate of recurrence was 50% (n = 3) in those patients treated with isolated curettage, 22% (n = 4) in those treated with curettage plus adjuvants and 17% (n = 1) in those treated with resection (p = 0.404). The only complication was pain in one patient, which resolved after surgical removal of remnants of PMMA. We could not identify any individual factors associated with a higher rate of complications or recurrence. The mean post-operative Musculoskeletal Tumor Society scores were slightly higher after intra-lesional treatment including isolated curettage and curettage plus adjuvants (29 (20 to 30)) compared with resection (25 (15 to 30)) (p = 0.091). Repeated curettage with adjuvants eventually resulted in the cure for all patients and is therefore a reasonable treatment for both primary and recurrent GCT of the small bones of the hands and feet.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:838–45.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 94-B, Issue 7 | Pages 882 - 888
1 Jul 2012
van der Heijden L Gibbons CLMH Dijkstra PDS Kroep JR van Rijswijk CSP Nout RA Bradley KM Athanasou NA Hogendoorn PCW van de Sande MAJ

Giant cell tumours (GCT) of the synovium and tendon sheath can be classified into two forms: localised (giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath, or nodular tenosynovitis) and diffuse (diffuse-type giant cell tumour or pigmented villonodular synovitis). The former principally affects the small joints. It presents as a solitary slow-growing tumour with a characteristic appearance on MRI and is treated by surgical excision. There is a significant risk of multiple recurrences with aggressive diffuse disease. A multidisciplinary approach with dedicated MRI, histological assessment and planned surgery with either adjuvant radiotherapy or systemic targeted therapy is required to improve outcomes in recurrent and refractory diffuse-type GCT.

Although arthroscopic synovectomy through several portals has been advocated as an alternative to arthrotomy, there is a significant risk of inadequate excision and recurrence, particularly in the posterior compartment of the knee. For local disease partial arthroscopic synovectomy may be sufficient, at the risk of recurrence. For both local and diffuse intra-articular disease open surgery is advised for recurrent disease. Marginal excision with focal disease will suffice, not dissimilar to the treatment of GCT of tendon sheath. For recurrent and extra-articular soft-tissue disease adjuvant therapy, including intra-articular radioactive colloid or moderate-dose external beam radiotherapy, should be considered.