Giant Cell Tumors are a benign yet aggressive bone tumor or neoplasm. It is benign but aggressive, and if not removed, will grow and destroy the bone. Many, but not all, are caused by a genetic mutation.
Giant Cell Tumors are benign aggressive tumors that, if left unchecked, will grow and destroy normal bone and invade soft tissue. As the tumor grows, the bone is weakened and you are at an increased risk of breaking the bone due to the tumor (called a pathological fracture).
Radiographic imaging is used to help form a diagnosis. These include X-Ray, MRI, CT and Bone Scans.
An example of a Giant Cell Tumor X-Ray is shown.
The surgery we use to treat this condition is known as an extensive curettage resection, cryotherapy, and bone grafting and fixation. Curettage means to scoop the tumor out using a spoon-like tool called a curette. This is a surgery that aims to remove the mass and restore the bone so that the patient can get back to normal function.
Intralesional Curettage means to scoop the tumor out using a spoon-like tool called a curette. This is a surgery that aims to remove the mass and restore the bone so that the patient can get back to normal function. The ABC is identified within the bone and scooped, or curetted, out. The cavity is then shaved down with a Midas Rex Drill, which is similar to a dental drill. This drill removes more tumor cells.
It is a specialized technique that only a handful of surgeons in the country know how to perform. Once the tumor is removed, liquid nitrogen may be poured into the bone cavity to freeze the area to sub zero temperatures in order to kill microscopic tumor cells. This reduces the chances of the tumor coming back to less than 5%. Warm fluid is also used to prevent normal tissues from freezing.
The empty bone cavity is usually filled with bone graft or bone cement. Bone can be donated (allograft) or taken from the patient themselves (autograft). Fixation devices, such as a plate and screws, may be used in specific situations to prevent postoperative fracture.
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Myself and my amazing team are dedicated to saving your life and your limb. Losing a limb because of a tumor can be a terrifying experience. But, it does not have to be the only option. I’ve spent 20+ years as a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Orthopedic Oncologist.
I’ve devoted my career to helping children and adults afflicted with bone and soft tissue masses by performing complex limb saving surgeries. Most patients can have their limb saved, which may require innovative techniques.
Patients afflicted with musculoskeletal tumors have complex conditions that are best taken care of at large hospitals. I am the Chairman of Orthopedics and Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at Morristown Medical Center. My philosophy is a multidisciplinary team approach, working together to tailor treatment to individual patients. Education and research are essential to my practice, providing the best setting for extraordinary patient care. Because of this, we have some of the top results in the country.