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Open Access Case report

Granuloma debridement and the use of an injectable calcium phosphate bone cement in the treatment of osteolysis in an uncemented total knee replacement

Henry D Atkinson12*, Vijai S Ranawat12 and Roger D Oakeshott2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics and North London Sports Orthopaedics, North Middlesex University Hospital, Sterling Way, London N18 1QX, UK

2 Sportsmed SA, 32 Payneham Road, Stepney, Adelaide 5069, Australia

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2010, 5:29  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-5-29

Published: 27 April 2010


Polyethylene particulate debris-induced periprosthetic osteolysis is a known complication of knee arthroplasty surgery, and may result in the need for revision surgery. The management of these bony defects can be surgically challenging, and full revisions of well-fixed total knee components can lead to substantial bone loss. We present the case of a 71 year old man who developed knee pain and osteolysis around an uncemented total knee replacement. Due to significant medical comorbidies he was treated by percutaneous cyst granuloma debridement and grafting using an injectable calcium phosphate bone substitute. There were no wound complications, and the patient was allowed to fully weight-bear post-operatively. Histopathology and microbiology of the cyst material confirmed polyethylene granulomata without any evidence of infection. At 6 weeks post-operatively the patient's previous knee pain had resolved, he was able to comfortably fully weight-bear. Preoperative scores (Knee Society Score (KSS) 41, WOMAC score 46.2, and Oxford Knee Score 39) had all improved at the 12-month post-operative review KSS 76, WOMAC 81.7 and Oxford Knee score 21). This is a safe and effective technique with minimal morbidity and may be an appropriate treatment modality when more extensive revision surgery is not possible. The case is discussed with reference to the literature.