Surgical management of 121 benign proximal fibula tumors

Matthew P. Abdel, Panayiotis J. Papagelopoulos, Mark E. Morrey, Doris E. Wenger, Peter S. Rose, Franklin H. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Tumors of the fibula comprise only 2.5% of primary bone lesions. Patients with aggressive benign tumors in the proximal fibula may require en bloc resection. Peroneal nerve function, knee stability, and recurrence are substantial concerns with these resections. The incidence and fate of these complications is not well-known owing to the small numbers of patients in previous reports. Questions/purposes: We therefore analyzed the incidence of peroneal nerve palsy, knee stability, and local recurrence following surgical treatment of benign proximal fibula tumors. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 120 patients (121 tumors) with histologically confirmed aggressive benign tumors of the proximal fibula. There were 56 males and 64 females with an average age of 24 years (range, 2-64 years). The most common diagnosis was osteochondroma (38%) followed by giant cell tumor (19%). Pain (94%), palpable mass (39%), and peroneal nerve symptoms (12%) were the most common presenting symptoms. Of the 121 tumors, 56 (46%) underwent en bloc resection. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 9 years; range 2 to 49 years; median, 7.4 years). Results: Postoperative complications included nine peroneal nerve palsies (six transient, three permanent), one deep venous thrombosis, and one wound dehiscence. No long-term knee instability was seen with repair of the lateral collateral ligament. Ten patients had recurrences, with 70% of local recurrences occurring in patients who underwent intralesional excision. Conclusions: Given the higher recurrence rate with curettage, patients with aggressive proximal fibula tumors benefit from en bloc resection. The overall morbidity is low, but postoperative permanent peroneal palsy remains a concern (3%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3056-3062
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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