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Also called osteocartilaginous exostoses, osteochondroma is an overgrowth of cartilage and bone near the end of the bone near the growth plate. This type of overgrowth can occur in any bone where cartilage eventually forms bone. Most commonly, it affects the long bones in the leg, the pelvis, or scapula (shoulder blade).
Osteochondroma is the most common benign (non-cancerous) bone growth. The lesion usually occurs during skeletal growth - between the ages of 10 and 30 years. It affects males and females equally.
While the exact cause of osteochondroma is not known, there is a genetic link, indicating that there is a form of the disorder that is inherited. There is also a non-inherited form of the disorder.
The following are the most common symptoms of osteochondroma. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Often individuals with osteochondroma will have no symptoms at all.
The symptoms of osteochondroma may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for osteochondroma may include the following:
Specific treatment for osteochondroma will be determined by your physician based on:
Treatment for osteochondromas varies significantly depending on the size of the overgrowth and the symptoms of the individual. Treatment may include:
If there is no sign of bone weakening or increased overgrowth, observation only may be suggested. Careful follow-up with a physician to monitor bone growth may be recommended.