Chondromas Symptoms & Causes

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Contact the Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program

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Can chondromas become malignant?

Some may continue to grow and transform into a malignant condition called chondrosarcoma in adulthood. Your child's doctor will pay close attention to any tumor that grows past skeletal maturity, especially those that produce new

The bones most at risk for malignant transformation are those most central in location.

For instance, tumors found in the pelvis or shoulder girdle have a higher tendency to transform than those found in the bones of the hands and feet, which almost never become malignant.

What causes chondromas and who is affected by them?

We don't know the exact cause of chondromas.

  • Chondromas account for 25 percent of all benign bone tumors.
  • Echondromas - the most common type bone tumors found in the hand
    • Boys and girls are equally affected.
    • They can occur at any age but usually echondromas are not discovered until people are in their 30s or 40s.
  • Periosteal chondromas - extremely rare
  • They usually appear earlier, which may be because they produce symptoms, leading to earlier detection.

What are the symptoms of chondromas?


  • usually no symptoms
  • pain
  • fracture
  • tendinitis (usually in the upper arm)
  • painless swelling of a digit

Periosteal chondromas

  • dull, achy pain
  • swelling
  • a mass that can be felt
  • sometimes no symptoms
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