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J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2018 May-Aug;26(3):2309499018774929. doi: 10.1177/2309499018774929.

Treatment of benign and borderline bone tumors with combined curettage and bone defect reconstruction.

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Musculoskeletal Tumor Section, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



The management of bone defects following simple curettage of bone tumors is controversial and in light of the numerous emerging substitutes for bone grafts, we wished to review and report our experience with the use of cancellous allograft bone in the treatment of benign and borderline bone tumors.


We reviewed the medical records of 164 consecutive patients with benign or borderline bone tumors treated with simple curettage at our orthopedic oncology center between 2009 and 2013. Postoperative radiological changes were evaluated by a modified Neer's classification in defects that were subsequently reconstructed with allograft bone ( n = 133).


Simple curettage with subsequent defect filling using allograft bone was the surgical procedure performed in the majority of our patients (81%) and was associated with a low overall 2.5-year local recurrence (LR; 9.8%) and complication rate (7.5%). The radiological appearance of the grafted defects was deemed satisfactory in 85% of cases, with signs of either complete or partial healing present 6-12 months postoperatively. With respect to pathology, we found high rates of LR in giant cell tumors (GCTs) of bone, simple cysts (SCs) in children, and preexisting local recurrent disease. We did not observe any allograft-related complications.


Simple curettage and bone defect reconstruction with bone allograft is a sufficient treatment for most benign bone lesions and is associated with a low complication rate. For high-risk entities, such as GCTs of bone, SCs in children, and recurrent disease, additional adjuvant treatment could be considered to avoid LR.


benign bone tumor; bone allograft; bone defect; cancellous allograft; cancellous bone; curettage; local recurrence


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