Osteolytic lesion of the tibial diaphysis after cementless TKA

Brian A. Vernon, Alexander J. Bollinger, Kevin L. Garvin, Sean V. McGarry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Biomaterial wear debris is a known contributing factor in aseptic loosening of total joint prostheses, particularly when cementless tibial trays are used in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Local inflammatory response can lead to osteolysis and aseptic loosening of implants. The resulting lesions require careful clinical evaluation. This article presents a case of a 76-year old man with a remote history of prostate cancer and cigarette smoking who presented with acute onset left knee and tibia pain 15 years after TKA. Radiographs showed an osteolytic lesion in the distal tibial diaphysis and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion with evidence concerning for pathologic mid-shaft fracture. Biopsy of the lesion confirmed a foreign body reaction and revision TKA was performed. The patient was seen at 3-year follow-up without complication. The existing literature presents cases reporting osteolytic lesions of the distal femur and proximal tibial metaphysis due to polyethylene wear debris and foreign body reaction following TKA. We are unaware of case reports involving osteolysis of this etiology extending into the distal tibial diaphysis. We conclude that polyethylene wear debris with foreign body reaction should be considered in the differential diagnosis of an osteolytic lesion extending into the tibial diaphysis following TKA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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