Osteochondroma is the most common noncancerous bone tumor that develops in children and adolescents. This tumor forms on the surface of a bone near the growth plate, usually on the arm, leg, and hip bones. It is made up of mostly bone and cartilage which allow it to continue growing until your bones stop growing; for girls this usually happens around the age of 16, and for boys 18. Osteochondroma is also benign, meaning that it does not spread to other parts of the body and it is not a life threatening disease.
Less than 1% of these tumors are cancerous. (Surgeons, 1995)There are two main types of causation for this tumor; one, inherited and two, noninherited. Some noninherited causes are exposure to radiation, and having had previous hereditary exostoses.
Hereditary Exostoses is a bone spur that is like Osteochondroma but is cancerous and the spurs can lead to permanent bone deformities. Although there are some known causations Osteochondroma has been known to occur sporadically as well. Because there is no one specific way of obtaining this disease it makes it harder to determine whether or not it is preventable. With that said, Osteochondroma is a non-preventable disease.The most common symptoms of Osteochondroma are: hard boney lumps, an arm or leg is longer than the other, pressure or irritation during exercising or participating in other physical activities, bone that breaks with a smaller amount of force being exerted on it. Although the lumps themselves are not painful the muscles, nerves, and tendons surrounding the growth may become irritated and painful. Since this form of tumor develops while a person is still growing and developing themselves the tumor forms in the space where your bone is supposed to be forming, and because of this it may make one of their arms or legs longer than the other.
The reason that a bone would break more easily is because the Osteochondroma causes deterioration to the bone and weakens its structure. To diagnose this disease the first thing someone’s doctor or physician will typically recommend is that they go get it x-rayed. The x-ray is helpful in that it gives a visual as to what they are dealing with. In some cases where a person does not experience any symptoms they may just be getting x-rayed for another reason such as a broken bone, but in the process a doctor may notice a stray piece of bone that is starting to grow into a tumor, or just the tumor itself attached to the bone.
An x-ray may also be useful in determining whether the diagnosis is Solitary Osteochondroma or Multiple Osteochondromatosis. Solitary Osteochondroma is a single tumor. If diagnosed with Solitary Osteochondroma the tumor can either have a stem or a stalk, making it jut out from the actual bone; this is a pedunculated structure or sessile where the tumor is attached to the bone and has a broader base. Multiple Osteochondromatosis is similar in structure but there is more than one forming at a time.This is primarily caused by hereditary exostoses, which being cancerous, increases the likeliness that the Osteochondroma will be cancerous as well. There is a 5%-30% chance of this happening. After being x-rayed the next step in a diagnosis is an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This helps the doctor to determine whether the tumor is Osteochondroma, noncancerous, or an exostoses, cancerous.
Depending on the size of the tumor and how it is affecting the patient’s daily routines determines what treatment option is best for the patient.The different options include: leaving it alone and surgical removal. If the tumor isn’t causing irritation or is not at risk for causing another problem than the patient’s doctor will recommend that it just be left alone but will suggest that you return for follow ups regarding its growth, for if it gets worse in the future it may need to be removed; this is usually the case when dealing with Simple Osteochondroma. On the other hand if it is painful, in a dangerous location, or is thought to be cancerous the patient’s doctor will recommend that it be removed.
There are two ways to go about the removal. One way is to use radiation and burn it. This technique does not “remove” it but rather kill it. The other is to have it surgically removed. If it is being surgically removed the tumor will be cut out all the way to the bone removing it completely from the patient’s body. After being surgically removed there is a 5% chance that it will come back. In the United States one of every 50,000 people are diagnosed with Osteochondroma. The ratio of men to women for this disease is 1.
6:1 making men only slightly more likely to have it. The average person diagnosed with this disease is within the ages of 10 and 30.Works CitedHospital, B. C. (n. d.
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Retrieved september 07, 2012, from OrthoInfo: http://orthoinfo. aaos. org/topic. cfm? topic=A00079;grpwebid=2FD4EA