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Springerplus. 2014 Jun 24;3:308. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-3-308. eCollection 2014.

Symptomatic loosening of a total knee arthroplasty caused by a tibial chondrosarcoma - a case report.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, König-Ludwig-Haus, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Brettreichstr. 11, Würzburg, D-97074 Germany.


Premature implant loosening following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) can have several causes. In this article we report on a rare case of a 74 year old male patient suffering tibial component loosening 14 month after primary TKA. The patient did neither have any malignancies nor joint arthroplasty before. Upon clinical examination the range of motion in the diseased knee was painfully restricted to 80° of knee flexion, with the patient increasingly suffering sleeping and resting pain, and also at weight bearing. In standard radiographs, loosening of the TKA due to a large osteolysis at the tibial component was evident. Local computed tomography (CT) of the right knee revealed loosening of the tibial component due to a presumably malign bone tumor. For determination of the final diagnosis a representative biopsy of the tumor was taken by open surgery prior to the tumor resection. Histopathologic evaluation of the biopsy revealed a periprosthetic myxoid chondrosarcoma of the proximal tibia. Pre-operative staging examination included CT scans of lung and abdomen, as well as a bone scintigraphy which revealed no signs of tumor metastasis in the body. Surgical management comprised wide tumor resection and implantation of a hinged tumor knee arthroplasty with replacements of the distal femur and proximal tibia, as well as a patella tendon replacement using a synthetic ligament. Revision surgery was necessary twice due to impaired wound healing and critical soft tissue coverage, and treatment included a gastrocnemius muscle flap with skin mesh graft covering. Unfortunately long-term follow-up examinations could not be obtained, as the patient deceased due to an alveolitis during rehabilitation. In summary, the specifics of this rare case of aseptic TKA loosening, and the unusual circumstances of chondrosarcoma diagnosis and treatment are informative for those providing surgical treatment of similar cases.


Aseptic loosening; Bone tumor; Chondrosarcoma; Total knee arthroplasty

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