Enchondroma is a relatively common yet benign tumor consisting of a rest of cartilage inside the bone. An enchondroma commonly appears in the short tubular bones of the hands and feet. It can also be found in larger long bones, such as the humerus, femur, and tibia. The majority of patients have no symptoms or difficulties related to the tumor, so most are diagnosed as an incidental finding on imaging studies done for unrelated conditions. Because so many cases go undiagnosed, it is difficult to determine exactly how commonly enchondromas exist.
While an enchondroma is most commonly seen between the ages of 10 and 20, it is not unusual to see it in older or younger people as well. Both males and females are equally affected by this type of bone tumor. In less than 1% of all cases do these tumors transform into a malignant chondrosarcoma. Many cases go untreated and even undiagnosed because the tumor is so benign in nature. However, in the setting of any aggressive signs, surgical removal may be recommended. On occasion, an enchondroma may weaken the bone to a degree necessitating removal and fixation to prevent a fracture.
Types of Enchondroma
Enchondroma is benign by nature, but can develop in various states:
Causes of Enchondroma
There are few known causes of enchondroma. While this disease is still being researched, there are a few findings that can give some insight into what causes enchondroma:
Symptoms of Enchondroma
While enchondroma patients see very few, if any, symptoms as the disease advances or worsens, there are some symptoms that do appear.
The following are some of the enchondroma symptoms. It is important to bear in mind that everyone’s body is different and will react differently depending on the level of the disease:
Enchondroma symptoms are often left unnoticed. In fact, many cases of enchondroma are first noticed after another unrelated trauma when a doctor sees it appear on the X-ray results.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's musculoskeletal oncology services in New York treats enchondroma as well as a broad range of conditions that affect the bones within the body.