Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors

Enchondroma (Benign Cartilage Tumor)

Enchondroma (Benign Cartilage Tumor)

It is a benign cartilaginous tumor seen in bone. Enchondroma occurs and grows in childhood. Often times, it stops growing and become silent in adulthood

What ages and which bones is the enchodroma seen?

The tumor is seen between the ages 10 and 20 years. Enchondroma is common in tubular bones of hand and foot. It may also be seen in humerus, femur. When it is seen in a single bone its risk of transforming into malign form is very seldom. If more than one enchondroma is seen like Olier Syndrome and Mafucci Syndrome, there is more risk of malign transformation.

What are the clinical finding of enchondroma?

When the tumor located in hand or foot tubular bones, deformities, pathological fractures and pain can be observed.  If not complicated with fracture is generally painless. However, if there is pain, one need to rule out the malign transformation.

How can it be diagnosed?

Enchondroma is diagnosed incidentally in radiographs taken for another reason. MR and Bone Scan can be done to confirm the diagnosis. Bone scan shows normal or minimally increased uptake In most cases, radiological examination will be sufficient for diagnosis. Orthopedic Surgeon rarely may require additional tests and bone biopsy.

How can the enchondroma be treated?

Silent  cases without any symptoms do not require any treatment in most of the cases. However, when it is first diagnosed, it is followed for a couple years to see whether it is inactive. If there is malign transformation, pathological fractures and deformities, surgical treatment is applied. Tumor is removed and the cavity is filled with bone greft. Cases transformed to chondrosarcoma are treated with en-bloc resection.

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About the author

Prof.Dr. Seref Aktas