Giant Cell Tumor of the Sacrum: Series of 19 Patients and Review of the Literature



Bone and Joint Reconstruction Research Center, Shafa Orthopedic Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


There are still some debates regarding the best treatment of Giant Cell Tumor (GCT) of the sacrum. Since GCT of this location is rare, therapeutic strategies are mainly based on the treatment of GCT in other anatomic locations. The objective of this study was to evaluate the oncologic and clinical results of surgical management of sacral GCT with and without local adjuvant therapy. Medical records of 19 patients diagnosed with GCT of the sacrum, were retrospectively reviewed. Sixteen patients were treated by intralesional curettage and three patients with marginal resection. Musculoskeletal tumor society (MSTS) score was used for the evaluation of functional outcome. Prolonged pain was the most common complication after treatment. Mean Pre and post-operative pain based on visual analogue scale (VAS) was 6.1 ± 1.99 and 3.05 ± 1.64, respectively. Postoperative neurologic deficit appeared in six patients. In addition, infection occurred in five patients. One case of spinopelvic instability was also observed after surgery. At average follow up of 158.5 ± 95.9 months (25 to 316 months), recurrence was seen in eight (42.7%) out of seventeen patients treated by intralesional curettage. The size of the tumor significantly correlated with the tumor recurrence (r=0.654, P=0.001). Mean MSTS score was 74.7 ± 16.78. Those patients, in whom sacral nerve roots remained intact before and after surgery, had better functional outcome. Preservation of sacral nerve roots is associated with better functional outcome and less pain. Although an acceptable surgical outcome was observed in our cohort, the problem of local recurrence still warrants further investigations for better local control of the tumor.


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