1.What is Osteochondroma?
Osteochondroma is the most common non-cancerous bone growth that is seen at the end of the bone near the growth plate. It generally affects long bones in the leg, shoulder blade, and the pelvis. There are 2 types of Osteochondroma:
- Solitary Osteocartilaginous Exostosis: It is the most common benign bone tumor seen around the knee and the proximal humerus although it can occur in any bone.
- Hereditary Multiple Exostosis (HME): In this condition, people develop multiple benign bone tumors. The number and affected location may vary from person to person. It is not a condition seen by birth but developed from the age of 12 years. It can result in pain, limited joint movement, and difficulty in walking.
The main Osteochondroma symptoms include the following:
- Presence of a hard mass that doesn’t move or cause any pain.
- Feels pressure or irritation on nerves and other nearby structures while exercising.
- Lower than normal height for the age.
- Soreness of the nearby muscles around the affected area.
- One arm or leg that is longer than the other one.
- A long bone that breaks with less pressure than normal
- Pain in the affected area and stiffness while trying to bend or move.
- Muscle spasms, weakness, or cramps.
- Bumps under the skin mainly in hands and fingers.
- Difficulty in controlling the bladder or bowel if the bone presses certain nerves.
2.Who is at Risk?
As far as gender is concerned, both men and women are equally at risk. However more cases are reported in men. Some other risk factors are as follows:
- Age: Those between the age of 10 and 30 are at high risk during the teenage growth spurt. The risk goes down during middle age and again rises after the age of 60.
- Those who have a hereditary factor for HME, are at high risk of developing this condition.
- Having a family history of the condition.
- Those who suffer from osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease are at high risk.
Though the exact osteochondroma cause is unknown, those who have variation in genes are likely to develop the HME type of osteochondroma. An injury to the joint or tendon makes the body add on extra growth to fix the problem. Any bone problem by birth can cause osteochondroma. Narrowing of the spine leads to this condition. Obesity and diet can be another cause. Overuse of a particular bone while exercising or dancing excessively over some time causes this condition. Narrowing of the spine is yet another reason. All the afore-mentioned can be osteochondroma risk factors.
3.How is Osteochondroma diagnosed?
Since this condition affects those who are between 10 – 30 years of age, and if a child is affected, the pediatrician will check for your child’s medical history and symptoms noticed as a part of the osteochondroma diagnosis. After the physical examination, the doctor may recommend the following:
- Ultrasound Scan
- CT Scan
- MRI Scan
A biopsy will also be conducted to confirm the growth is non-cancerous as a part of osteochondroma treatment.
4.How is Osteochondroma treated?
Osteochondroma is a condition that affects the age between 10-30 years of age and is common at teenage, a pediatrician can be consulted for osteochondroma treatment. After the diagnosis, the doctor may go for 2 options as follows:
- Monitoring – If the growth is painless and causes no other harm, there won’t be any particular treatment except regular monitoring by the doctor any other problems.
- Surgery – Surgery is necessary if it causes pain or other complications like chances of becoming malignant if the bone is very weak. In such cases, the extra growth is completely removed by locating the osteochondroma and cutting it off from the normal bone. This is a very successful treatment depending on the location.
To get the treatment done, you need not search for a specialist by visiting several hospitals. Care.fit one of the leading healthcare providers in India is known for its presence in multiple locations in all major cities. You can easily find an efficient pediatrician for consultation from their website. They have a broad panel of doctors in all specialties which makes them a credible service provider. You can find all specialized doctors under one roof nearby to your location. Once the search is completed, you may book an appointment at your convenience by sending a WhatsApp message. You will get a confirmation from the concerned person after checking the availability of the doctor. Once you reach Care.fit you are in safe hands. In Care.fit you can be sure of getting a successful treatment without compromising on your privacy.
5.How can Osteochondroma be prevented?
There is no exact osteochondroma prevention method found so far. However, certain causes that aggravate the condition such as excessive exercise and dancing can be controlled. If obesity and diet is the root cause of your osteochondroma, it can be managed by following a healthy diet to lose weight.