Scimago Lab
powered by Scopus
eISSN: 1941-5923
call: +1.631.629.4328
Mon-Fri 10 am - 2 pm EST


Giant Cell Tumor of the Patella Tendon Sheath Presenting as a Painful Locked Knee

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Rare disease, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Andreas Panagopoulos, Pantelis Tsoumpos, Irini Tatani, Ilias Iliopoulos, Dionysios Papachristou

Department of Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Clinic, Patras University Hospital, Patras, Greece

Am J Case Rep 2015; 16:568-573

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.893849

Available online:

Published: 2015-08-25

BACKGROUND: The giant cell tumor of the tendon sheath (GCT-TS) is a benign proliferative synovial tumor manifesting as an intra-articular solitary nodule. When it involves the infrapatellar fat pad it can present acutely as a painful locked knee.
CASE REPORT: A 26-year-old white male presented with a 2-week history of painful locking in his right knee. Clinical examination revealed lack of extension by approximately 20°. To help establish the diagnosis, an MRI scan of the right knee was performed, showing a large (5×4×2 cm), oval, well-circumscribed mass with a low-intensity homogenous signal. The size of the mass prohibited the removal by arthroscopy and we therefore proceeded with an open arthrotomy. Histological examination showed a tendosynovial giant cell tumor of the patella tendon sheath. At the latest follow-up, 2 years postoperatively, there was no local tumor recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: These rare tumorous lesions should be included in the differential diagnosis of painful locking knee, especially in the absence of definite traumatic history.

Keywords: Giant Cell Tumors - surgery, Adult, Humans, Joint Diseases - etiology, Knee Joint, Male, Patellar Ligament, Soft Tissue Neoplasms - surgery