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An osteochondroma is a common, benign, slow-growing bony lesion, characterized by exostoses (outgrowth of new cartilage bone on normal bone surfaces) and cartilaginous caps, particularly at joints. Common sites include the distal femur, proximal tibia, fibula, and humerus. It is typically seen in adolescents or young adults through age 30. Solitary or multiple osteochondromas may present.

A solitary osteochondroma is usually asymptomatic and painless, and is often observed incidentally on x-ray. It rarely metastasizes.

Multiple hereditary exostoses (hereditary multiple osteochondromas) is an autosomal dominant disorder with several variations, which are more likely to be associated with additional symptoms and complications. Friction and irritation from the bony protuberances can cause symptoms of pain, inflammation, limited range of motion, bone deformity, and bursitis. Hereditary multiple osteochondromas are more likely to transform to malignancy, although that is still uncommon.

Management includes observation when asymptomatic, and resection if symptomatic or problematic.


D16.20 – Benign neoplasm of long bones of unspecified lower limb

443093007 – Osteochondroma


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Last Updated: 02/09/2017
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