The condition of tenosynovial giant cell tumors is known as Pigmented villonodular synovitis. The synovium is the same as your knee and hip.

TGCT can cause tumors that can cause permanent joint damage. Prompt treatment is important because of that.

Symptoms of TGCT can also be signs of arthritis. Getting a correct diagnosis is important to start on the right treatment.

Your doctor will examine your joint. They might press on the joint or move it in a variety of ways to find the exact location of your pain.

TGCT may be different from arthritis. The doctors use the tests to diagnose this condition.

  • The X-ray was taken.
  • Magnetic resonance scans use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create pictures of your joints.
  • A small piece of tissue is removed from a joint to be tested in a lab.
  • The baby is being examined by a doctor

The surgery to remove the tumor is the main treatment for TGCT. Sometimes a human-made artificial joint is used. The size of the tumor and the joint involved are two factors that affect the type of surgery you have.

Arthroscopic synovectomy

A minimally-invacous procedure called synovectomy is a way to remove a tumor and damaged part of the joint. Regional anesthesia blocks pain in the area of your body the surgeon is operating on, which is what you will typically have this surgery for.

The surgeon will make small cuts in the skin. A camera will be in one of the incisions. The small instruments will go into the other openings.

Your surgeon can see the video from the camera on the TV monitor. The surgeon will remove the tumor and damaged joint lining during the procedure.

Open surgery

If you have a large tumor, your doctor may not be able to remove it all in one go. Instead, you will have open surgery through a large incision.

You will have to stay in the hospital longer after open surgery and your rehabilitation will take longer than it would with arthroscopic surgery. Open surgery causes more pain.

The risk of the tumor returning is low.

Combined open and arthroscopic surgery

“If the surgeon can’t remove the tumor through a small incision or the tumor is in your knee, you may have a combination of open surgery and arthroscopy.”

The surgeon will remove the tumor through the back of your knee. The surgeon will remove the tumor from the knee.

Total joint replacement

You may develop arthritis in the affected joint after living with TGCT for a long time. If you have arthritis, you can have a lot of pain and symptoms like swelling and stiffness.

Your doctor may recommend that you have a hip or knee replacement. The surgeon replaces the damaged bone and cartilage with new parts made from metal, plastic, or ceramic.

After surgery

Infections, blood clot, and damage to nerves can be caused by surgery. The joint can sometimes loosen after a total joint replacement.

“If your surgeon can’t remove the whole tumor, it’s possible the tumor will come back. You will need another surgery if this happens.”

You may need to keep weight off of the joint for a few days after surgery. If it is a weight-bearing joint, you can use crutches.

Exercise is important to help you recover from surgery. A physical therapist will teach you how to do the exercises.

You may only need a short period of physical therapy after surgery, but you may need months of physical therapy after a long period of rest.

Your healthcare team and physical therapist can help you figure out the best plan for your recovery.

“High energy rays are used to shrink tumors. It is used with surgery to destroy any parts of the tumor the surgeon can’t remove. If you can’t have surgery, you might get radiation.”

Doctors used to deliver radiation from a machine outside the body. This treatment is done through an injection. This procedure is used to treat the bones in the body.

Radiation can help prevent the tumor from returning, but it can also cause side effects.

  • skin is red
  • Joints are stiff.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Cancer in the future.

Some drugs are being investigated for treating TGCT. TGCT may involve a change to the colony stimulating factor 1 gene. The immune cells called macrophages are controlled by this gene.

TGCT is caused by an issue with the CSF1 gene that causes the body to produce too many inflammatory cells, which can cause tumors.

Drugs that block this process are being worked on.

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of pexidartinib (Turalio) for people with TGCT where symptoms are severe and surgery is not possible.

Other options are being investigated.

  • cabiralizumab is a drug.
  • emactuzumab is a drug.
  • I amtinib mesylate is a drug.
  • nilotinib is a drug.

“There is still more research to be done on the safety and effectiveness of these drugs. They are available in clinical trials. If surgery hasn’t worked for you, ask your doctor if you’re eligible to join a study.”

Your doctor will recommend which type of surgery or other treatment is best for you, based on the size of your tumor and how bad it is.

Before you decide on a treatment, make sure you understand all of your options, as well as the risks and possible benefits.