Giant Cell Tumors of the Foot and Ankle Bones: High Recurrence Rates After Surgical Treatment

Rajiv Rajani, Lindsay Schaefer, Mark T. Scarborough, C. Parker Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Giant cell tumor (GCT) of the bone is a benign primary bone tumor most often treated with intralesional surgery. Most cases occur around the knee; however, rarely, GCT of bone can occur in the foot and ankle. Limited data exist about the outcomes after treatment of GCT in this location. We retrospectively reviewed an orthopedic oncology database from 1970 to 2010 for cases of GCT of the bone, specifically within the foot and ankle bones. After exclusionary criteria were applied, a total of 19 disease sites in 18 patients were included for analysis. Of the 19 disease sites, 10 recurred. Patients, on average, required 1.7 operations per disease site. Of the 18 patients, 10 required ≥2 operations, 3 required ≥3 operations, and 1 required 4 operations. A total of 4 amputations were performed, including 2 below the knee amputations. Of the 10 patients with recurrence, 2 also had evidence of metastatic disease. The recurrence rates of GCT in the foot and ankle bones appear to be greatest after intralesional curettage without the use of cement. Although the recurrence rates are high, intralesional operations with multiple adjuvant therapy can eventually result in cure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1145
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Amputation
  • Benign bone tumors
  • Giant cell tumor of bone
  • Incidence
  • Metastatic disease
  • Tumor recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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