Osteochondroma (Extosis) in Children

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Osteochondroma is the most common type of non-cancerous (benign) bone tumor. An osteochondroma is a hard mass of cartilage and bone that generally appears near the growth plate (a layer of cartilage at the ends of a child’s long bones). The majority of children with an osteochondroma only have a single tumor. Less commonly, osteochondromas will occur as multiple tumors.

Although osteochondromas do not spread beyond the affected bone, they may grow in size as your child grows. An osteochondroma ordinarily stops growing when a child reaches full height (around age 14 in girls and 16 in boys).

In most cases, osteochondromas don’t create problems and treatment isn’t needed. Surgery is only necessary if the tumor is causing significant pain, putting pressure on blood vessels or nerves, or very large in size.

How Boston Children’s Hospital Boston approaches osteochondroma

Experts in the Bone & Soft Tissue Tumor Program at Boston Children’s are devoted to caring for children and teenagers with osteochondromas and other bone and soft tissue disorders.

Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures that your child’s case receives careful consideration from experts in several fields before your care team develops a personalized treatment plan. 

Osteochondroma Reviewed by Megan E. Anderson, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2012

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