« Synovite villonodulaire sous arthroscopie ? » par le docteur Noailles



Giant cell tumor of tendon sheath (GCTTS), formerly known as pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), is a benign, locally aggressive, proliferative disorder of the synovium involving a joint, bursa, or tendon sheath. Treatment of GCTTS involves early surgical resection to limit articular destruction and the risk of recurrence. Synovectomy remains the treatment of choice for GCTTS, but without clear consensus to make an open or arthroscopic synovectomy and no certainty on the responsibility of surgery in the evolution towards the degenerative osteoarthritis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term clinical outcomes and the rate of recurrence of open or arthroscopic excision of GCTTS of the four most frequently involved joints: the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.


We performed a systematic review of literature in September 2015. The keywords were « villonodular synovitis » AND « surgical treatment ». The two authors analyzed 413 articles, according to title and abstract. Forty articles were selected, read entirely and references were analyzed.


Thirty-three articles were selected.


Our review of literature showed that arthroscopic excision is effective for localized type of GCTTS for all four joints. In diffuse type GCTTS, the efficacy of arthroscopic synovectomy has only been shown for the knee joint. In the other joints, early diagnosis can improve clinical outcomes, but we cannot certify that surgical treatment avoids osteoarthritis degradation.


Review of literature, level of evidence IV.