Closed argon-based cryoablation of bone tumours

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We report our experience with a new technique for cryosurgical ablation of bone tumours which allows accurate determination of the temperature and freezing time within a cavity of any geometrical shape.

Between 1997 and 2000, 58 patients diagnosed with 13 malignant and 45 aggressive benign bone tumours underwent argon-based cryoablation. This technique includes removal of the tumour by curettage and filling the cavity with a gel medium into which metal probes are inserted. Argon gas is delivered through the metal probes and both time and temperature are computer-controlled. After formal reconstruction, all patients were followed for more than two years. None had skin necrosis, infection, neurapraxia or thromboembolic complication. Fractures occurred in two patients (3.4%) and the tumour recurred in two patients (3.4%).

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