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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2002 Sep;84(7):1000-3.

Giant-cell tumour of the tendon sheath in the foot and ankle.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, England, UK.


Giant-cell tumour of the tendon sheath (GCT-TS) is a benign solitary tumour which usually arises in the limbs. It occurs most often in the hand where local recurrence after excision has been reported in up to 45% of cases. It is less common in the foot where the biological behaviour and risk of local recurrence have not been defined. We have studied 17 cases of GCT-TS of the foot and ankle in which treatment was by excision. Fifteen presented as a solitary, painless, slow-growing soft-tissue swelling. One lesion was associated with sensory deficit of a digital nerve and one with pain on walking. Thirteen cases originated from the periarticular tendon-sheath complex of the small joints of the toes and four from the capsule or long tendons of the ankle. A correct preoperative diagnosis was made in only three cases. MRI proved to be the most useful preoperative investigation as GCT-TS has a characteristic appearance which allows planned local excision to be carried out. None of the patients with histologically confirmed GCT-TS required further surgery. There was no local recurrence in 15 patients who were available for follow-up at a mean of 85 months.

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