Curettage and Cryosurgery for Low-grade Cartilage Tumors Is Associated with Low Recurrence and High Function

Mohler, David G.; Chiu, Richard; McCall, David A.; Avedian, Raffi S.
October 2010
Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research;Oct2010, Vol. 468 Issue 10, p2765
Academic Journal
Background: Chondrosarcomas of bone traditionally have been treated by wide or radical excision, procedures that may result in considerable lifelong disability. Grade 1 chondrosarcomas have little or no metastatic potential and are often difficult to distinguish from painful benign enchondromas. Curettage with adjuvant cryosurgery has been proposed as an alternative therapy for Grade 1 chondrosarcomas given the generally better function after the procedure. However, because it is an intralesional procedure, curettage and cryosurgery may be associated with higher rates of recurrence. Questions/purposes: We asked whether Grade 1 chondrosarcomas and enchondromas of uncertain malignant potential treated by curettage and cryosurgery are associated with low recurrence rates and high functional scores. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 46 patients with Grade 1 chondrosarcomas and enchondromas of uncertain malignant potential treated by curettage and cryosurgery. Forty-one patients had tumors of the long bones. Patients were followed a minimum of 18 months (average, 47.2. months; range, 18–134 months) for evidence of recurrence and for assessment of Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) functional score. Results: Two of the 46 patients had recurrences in the original tumor site (4.3% recurrence rate), which subsequently were removed by wide excision, and both patients were confirmed to be disease-free 36 and 30 months, respectively, after the second surgery. The mean MSTS score was 27.2 of 30 points (median, 29 points). Conclusions: Our observations show curettage with cryosurgery is associated with low recurrence of Grade 1 chondrosarcoma and high functional scores. Curettage with cryosurgery is a reasonable alternative to wide or radical excision as the treatment for Grade 1 chondrosarcomas, and allows for more radical surgery in the event of local recurrence. Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


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