Vertebral synovial chondromatosis

Author(s): Gallia GL, Weiss N, Campbell JN, McCarthy EF, Tufaro AP, et al.


Synovial chondromatosis is an uncommon disorder characterized by the formation of multiple cartilaginous nodules within the synovium, most commonly affecting large joints. Its involvement with the spine is rare; only six cases have been reported. The authors describe two patients with synovial chondromatosis involving the cervical spine. In the first case, synovial chondromatosis arose from the left C1-2 facet joint. This patient underwent a two-stage procedure including a posterior approach for tumor resection and occipitocervical fusion as well as a transmandibular circumglossal approach to the anterior craniocervical junction to complete the tumor removal. Interestingly, on histopathological examination, scattered foci of low-grade chondrosarcoma were intermixed within the synovial chondromatosis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of secondary low-grade chondrosarcoma arising in vertebral synovial chondromatosis. In the second case, synovial chondromatosis involved the left C4-5 facet joint. Tumor resection and cervical fusion were performed via a posterior approach. In this report, the authors describe the clinical presentation, radiographic findings, operative details, histopathological features, and clinicoradiological follow-up data obtained in these two patients and review the literature pertaining to this rare entity.

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