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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2013 Jan-Feb;52(1):24-7. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2012.09.008. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Giant cell tumor of the tendon sheath in the foot and ankle: case series and review of the literature.

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Department of Orthopedics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Giant cell tumor of tendon sheath (GCT-TS) in the foot and ankle has been reported as rare. The purpose of the present study was to describe 20 cases of GCT-TS in the foot and ankle treated in the orthopedic department of Huashan Hospital. From January 2007 to January 2012, a retrospective review was performed of 20 cases of GCT-TS in the foot and ankle, all of which were treated by local excision, including both arthroscopy and local excision. The follow-up of all cases was 3 months to 5 years. Of the 20 patients, 14 were female and 6 were male, with a mean age of 38.7 (range 15 to 59) years. Seventeen presented with a painless, solitary, well-defined soft tissue mass with good or poor mobility. Three had discomfort on weightbearing, because the mass was on the plantar aspect of the foot. One patient had neurologic symptoms. A correct preoperative diagnosis was made in only 5 cases. Magnetic resonance imaging proved to be the most useful noninvasive preoperative investigation, because GCT-TS has a characteristic appearance that allows for planned local excision to be performed. Four cases recurred after surgical excision, for a recurrence rate of 20%. After reviewing the published data and comparing them with our results, we concluded that a definite preoperative diagnosis of GCT-TS in the foot and ankle would help in planning the surgical treatment and that complete local excision is probably the only method to prevent recurrence.

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