Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor: A Rare Tumor of Joints


There are some medical conditions that are extremely rare. You might not very often, hear about it. they are not as common as the cough or cold. They are also not as heard as AIDS and Lung Cancer. One such is a Tenosynovial giant cell tumor.


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It is a rare tumor that actually grows in the joints area. According to the NCBI research, it actually affects those who are between the age of 30 and 50 years old and is found more often in women than men. Hence, ladies, be on the lookout.


Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor


As per the definition goes, Tenosynovial giant cell tumor (TGCT) is a group of rare tumors that form in the joints. TGCT is not typically cancerous, but it can grow and damage surrounding structures.


What are places Tenosynovial Giant cell tumor can happen?


There are some very common places where you can get the condition. These are the joints that get affected:

1) Synovium: These are actually the thin layer of tissue that lines the inner joint surfaces.

2) Bursae: These are the cushion tendons and muscles around the joint. They are used to prevent friction.

3) Tendon sheath: It is the layer of tissue around tendons.


Kinds of Tenosynovial Giant cell tumor


The types of Tenosynovial giant cell tumor is based on the place. It is on the basis of how the tumor mass grows and is localized.


a) Giant cell tumors of the tendon sheath (GCTTS): It is called so when actually growing in the smaller joints like the hands. These have much slower growth.


b)Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS): It is diffusing giant cell tumors grow quickly and affect large joints like the knee, hip, ankle, shoulder, or elbow.


Both of them might not grow cancerous, however, they affect structures around them. The degeneration of those might cause cancer to develop.


What are the Reasons for the Tenosynovial giant cell tumor?


TGCTs are caused by changes that happen in the chromosome, called a translocation. Pieces of a chromosome break off and change places. It isn’t clear what causes these translocations.

What is a Chromosome? Chromosomes contain the genetic code for producing proteins. The translocation leads to the excess production of a protein called colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1).

This protein is to bring cells that have CSF1 receptors on their surface. They are also including white blood cells called macrophages. These cells clump together until they eventually form a tumor.


Signs of Tenosynovial giant cell tumor


There are some specific symptoms you must look for when you are deciding about the condition. In case you see these happening, go to a doctor.


If there is any kind of swelling in the joint, or any lump.


  • You see there is stiffness in the joint
  • You feel pain or tenderness in the joint
  • There is the warmth of the skin over the joint
  • There is some sort of locking, popping or catching sound when you move the joint


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Detecting the Tenosynovial giant cell tumor


Like other normal tumors, even this can be detected in the following ways.




It is a test in which tissue samples are removed from the body. They are then examined under a microscope to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.


Radionuclide bone scans


A nuclear imaging test used to detect bone diseases and tumors and to determine the cause of bone pain or inflammation.




It is one of the diagnostic tests that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of the internal human body. It can take the image of bones and even tissues.


What can be methods to treat it?


The basic idea behind any treatment of a tumor is surgeries. Even the doctor would suggest so, to prevent the complication. If he does, you must go under the surgery.


Following surgery can be suggested:


• Amputation, in severe cases
• Bone grafting
• Bone reconstruction
• Physical therapy to regain strength and mobility
• Surgery to remove the tumor and any damaged bone


There are some facts that you must know about when consulting Tenosynovial giant cell tumor:


1) Giant cell tumors occur very often in young adults when skeletal bone growth is complete.

2) The exact cause of the condition is still under research.

3) Symptoms may include joint pain, swelling, and limited movement.

4) The treatment of a giant cell tumor is to remove the tumor. It is also important that the prevention of damaged bone is done.

5) Tumors that can’t be removed surgically can often be controlled and sometimes destroyed with radiation therapy.

6) There are chances that Giant cell tumors can come back.


We gave you a detailed explanation of how you should treat and recognize the Tenosynovial giant cell tumor. There is more help provided on our website, visit to clear your doubts.


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