Osteochondroma: symptoms and treatment

Osteochondroma is a pathological neoplasm of benign nature that can begin to develop as the human skeleton grows. Such outgrowth is most often found on tubular bones. It is formed from cartilaginous tissue. In more rare cases, the formation is localized on pelvic bones, collarbones, vertebrae, femur, and also on the ribs. In the medical literature, this ailment is also called bone-cartilaginous exostosis.

Osteochondrosis is considered by clinicians to be the most common benign formation that affects bones. The development of the disease begins on average at the age of 10 years. The growth of the tumor can not stop until 30 years. Osteochondroma is equally common in both women and men. More often, such education is single or solitary. But also there are multiple osteochondromas. Their sizes vary from 2 to 12 cm. But in medicine, cases are known when the tumor reached very large dimensions.


Osteochondroma is a pathological formation on the bone, which has a smooth surface. From above it is covered with a «cap» formed from cartilaginous cells. As the bone grows, the «cap» becomes thinner or completely disappears.


To date, the main factors that cause the development of osteochondrosis are not fully understood. Some experts insist that the cause of the progression of the tumor is radiation exposure. In this case, it is a question of postradiation osteochondrion, which is formed as a result of radiation therapy.

The following are also possible reasons for the formation of the outgrowth:

  • severe injury;
  • Infectious ailments
  • abnormalities of the periosteum and cartilaginous tissue
  • infringement
  • a failure in the endocrine system.


The formation of exostoses most often occurs in the region of tubular bones. The tumor grows towards the joint. With respect to bones, the outgrowth is fixed.

The most common growth is localized to:

  1. tibia
  2. forearm bones;
  3. Humerus
  4. In more rare cases, the formation of osteochondromas occurs on the ribs, scapula, vertebrae.

The most rare case is the formation of a tumor in the phalanges of the fingers. Such a tumor is located under the nails. Its dimensions are small — up to 1 cm in diameter. As the exostosis grows, the nail exfoliates, and the patient experiences severe pain. If the tumor is formed on other bones of the skeleton, then, as a rule, the patient does not note any discomfort and painful sensations.


In medicine, there are 3 stages of development of osteochondrosis:

  • The formation of the outgrowth from the cartilage site located in the bone. This site is called the epiphasal plate. Thanks to her, bones grow. Education consists only of cartilaginous tissue. It is not possible to dispatch it.
  • The tumor in the center gradually becomes stiff. The top is covered with a cartilaginous «cap». Gradually, it grows, and the formation increases in size.
  • At this stage of development, the growth of the outgrowth occurs solely because of the thickening of its cartilaginous membrane. Exostosis can go beyond the boundaries of the bone and become noticeable. In case of its large size, the patient begins to note difficulties in movement, as well as minor painful sensations.


The growth of small osteochondromas is not accompanied by any painful sensations. The presence of a tumor is most often detected when an X-ray is administered for another reason (examination in case of diseases, preventive examination). Sometimes the patient himself can feel for himself on the bone a dense formation — a «bump.»

A tumor of larger size begins to press on nerves, blood vessels, tendons and muscle structures, thereby delivering the patient a painful sensation. Disturbance of mobility of extremities may be noted.

Common Symptoms:

  1. The muscles in the area of ​​tumor localization are painful
  2. one limb may be longer than the second;
  3. when doing certain physical things. Exercises a characteristic pain;
  4. If the pathology develops in the child, then he may be much behind in growth from his peers.


Diagnosis of an ailment involves conducting such studies:

  • X-ray;
  • MRI
  • taking tissue for a biopsy
  • clinical trials.

The most informative is the X-ray. The picture clearly shows the change in the contour of the bone. This suggests that in this place the tumor is localized. In some cases, the outgrowth may fit snugly to the bone, or be connected to it with a foot. All this can also be seen in the photo.


If the formed defect on the bone does not cause the patient any anxiety and does not prevent him from leading normal life activity, the doctors can limit themselves only to the fact that they will observe the patient for a certain time. He will be scheduled to visit honey regularly. An institution for X-ray examination.

If there is a rapid growth of the tumor, violations of limb function, deformation of the skeleton, then the doctors decide on the need for an operation to remove the tumor. During surgical intervention, the surgeon will make a small incision above the site of tumor localization and perform a resection of the formation together with the base of the leg. All this procedure is carried out only under general anesthesia. As a rule, after applying the surgical technique of treatment, the patient completely recovers.