Long-Term Results of Intralesional Curettage and Cryosurgery for Treatment of Low-Grade Chondrosarcoma
Morteza Meftah, MD; Patricia Schult, BS; Robert M. Henshaw, MD


Background: Data regarding outcomes following intralesional curettage and cryosurgical treatment of low-grade chondrosarcoma of bone are limited. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term oncologic and functional outcomes of two different cryosurgery techniques.

Methods: Forty-three low-grade chondrosarcoma lesions (in forty-two patients) were treated with intralesional curettage and cryosurgery from June 1983 to October 2006. Eleven lesions were treated with cryoprobes and thirty-two were treated with the modified direct-pour Marcove technique. The mean patient age was 44.9 ± 11.3 years (range, 21.8 to 66.4 years), and the mean duration of follow-up was 10.2 ± 4.6 years (range, five to 22.5 years). Indications for treatment included a radiographic appearance consistent with a cartilage tumor with evidence of aggressive behavior. Pearson correlation and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate the relationships between predictive factors (including lesion size, soft-tissue extension, and location, patient age, cortical erosion, and presence of preoperative pain) and outcomes.

Results: The mean overall Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) score was 26.5 ± 3.1 (range, 17 to 30). There were four local recurrences, all in patients who had had tumor extension out of the bone with soft-tissue involvement at initial presentation. The mean time to recurrence was 2.4 ± 2.3 years (range, 0.6 to 5.6 years). No patients developed metastatic disease during the follow-up period. There were no differences between the cryoprobe and Marcove techniques with respect to the MSTS score, fracture, or local recurrence. A significant correlation between tumor recurrence and soft-tissue extension was found (r = 0.79). Kaplan-Meier survivorship, with freedom from recurrence as the end point, was 90.7%.

Conclusions: Intralesional curettage and cryosurgery for low-grade chondrosarcoma is safe and effective in selected patients. The presence of preoperative cortical breakthrough and soft-tissue extension was the strongest predictor of local recurrence following use of this technique.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


  • Investigation performed at the Washington Cancer Institute, Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia

  • A commentary by Albert Aboulafia, MD, MBA, is linked to the online version of this article at jbjs.org.

  • Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

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