What is the risk for recurrence of giant cell tumor of the tendon sheath?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: James R Verheyden, MD; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
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The incidence of local recurrence is high, ranging from 9% to 44%. Researchers have reported the following rates:

  • Phalen et al, [19] 9% recurrence rate in 56 cases
  • Moore et al, [20] 9% recurrence rate in 115 cases
  • Jones et al, [17] 17% recurrence rate in 95 cases
  • Reilly et al, [21] 27% recurrence rate in 70 cases
  • Wright, [22] 44% recurrence rate in 69 cases

The variability in rates probably reflects incomplete excision of the lesions, especially the satellite nodules. Risk factors for recurrence include the following:

  • Presence of adjacent degenerative joint disease
  • Injury at the DIP joint of the finger or the interphalangeal (IP) joint of the thumb
  • Radiographic presence of osseous pressure erosions

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