Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

DavidĀ G. Mohler, MD

Publication Details

  • Open synovectomy with cryosurgical adjuvant for treatment of diffuse pigmented villonodular synovitis of the knee. Bulletin (Hospital for Joint Diseases (New York, N.Y.)) Mohler, D. G., Kessler, B. D. 2000; 59 (2): 99-105


    Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is an uncommon, benign disorder usually affecting the synovial membrane of large joints. The diffuse form of PVNS is extremely difficult to control, and long-term recurrence inevitably results in arthrodesis or arthroplasty. Current treatments include surgical, chemical, and radiation synovectomy, but all have significant failure rates. In hope of obtaining a more complete synovectomy, we used cryosurgery as an adjuvant to open synovectomy in three patients. Two patients presented with multiple failed arthroscopic synovectomies, and one patient presented with arthroscopically unresectable PVNS. The surgical approach involved take down and repair of the anterior meniscal attachments, and direct entry into the posterior space through medial and lateral femoral capsular attachments. Cryosurgical surface spray was used on all non-cartilaginous surfaces. At follow-up of 14, 30, and 31 months, all three patients remained symptom-free and there were no indications of clinical recurrence. There were no obvious complications or morbidity from the cryosurgical procedure and all patients had excellent functional recovery. All patients returned to sports and their jobs without restrictions. In the past, it has been shown that cryosurgery is a safe and effective treatment modality for proliferative joint disease. We propose the use of adjuvant cryosurgery for PVNS patients selected for open synovectomy.

    View details for PubMedID 10983259

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