J Knee Surg 2019; 32(04): 331-336
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1675815
Special Focus Section
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Giant Cell Tumor of Bone: Review of Current Literature, Evaluation, and Treatment Options

Corey Montgomery
1   Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Cory Couch
1   Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
Cynthia L. Emory
2   Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Richard Nicholas
1   Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

06 July 2018

08 October 2018

Publication Date:
16 November 2018 (online)


Giant cell tumor of bone is a benign albeit aggressive tumor commonly affecting the bones of the knee. Patients with these tumors present with pain, swelling, and inability to bear weight on the involved extremity. These destructive tumors typically arise in the metaphyseal region of the long bones in individuals in the second, third, and fourth generations of life. Histologically, the multinucleated giant cells are the hallmark of the lesion, easily recognized on histological review, which recently have become therapeutic targets for medical management of the disease. For decades, surgical management has been the primary treatment for giant cell tumor of the bone. Some tumors can be treated with excision and filling of the osseous void with bone cement or allograft. This is an effective treatment option with a low to moderate risk of local recurrence while preserving limb function. For more destructive tumors, wide excision and reconstruction with prosthetic, structural allograft or combined allograft prosthetic components are utilized. Advances in medical management of the disease have also demonstrated promise as an effective treatment; however, its use has usually been limited to the treatment of metastatic disease, recurrent disease or when advanced local disease would require surgical treatment felt to be overly morbid.

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