Osteoid Osteoma | Diagnosis & Treatments

How does a doctor know that it’s osteoid osteoma?

Diagnostic procedures for osteoid osteoma are used to determine the exact type of tumor your child has and whether the tumor has spread. These may include:

  • physical exam, including neurologic function tests of reflexes, muscle strength, eye and mouth movement, coordination, and alertness
  • x-rays to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce detailed images of organs and structures
  • computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan) to capture a detailed view of the body biopsy or tissue sample from the tumor to provide definitive information about the type of tumor
  • a bone scan to detect bone diseases and tumors as well as to determine the cause of bone pain or inflammation
  • a complete blood count (CBC), which measures size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of blood
  • blood tests

How does Boston Children’s Hospital treat osteoid osteoma?

The Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program is home to some of the world's most skilled pediatric physicians. While we're known for our science-driven approach to treatment, our doctors never forget that your child is a child and not just a patient.

We specialize in innovative, family-centered care. From your first visit, you'll work with a team of professionals who are committed to supporting all of your family's physical and psychosocial needs.

Traditional treatments for osteoid osteoma

Most of these tumors can be successfully treated. However, they can come back. Prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are important for the best prognosis. Regular follow-up care is essential for your child.

Treatment may include:

  • Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation: A minimally invasive day procedure, percutaneous radiofrequency ablation uses radiofrequencies passed beneath the skin through a needle to kill the tumor cells by heating them to a high temperature.
  • Curettage and bone grafting: During this operation, the tumor is scraped out of the bone with a special instrument. The remaining cavity is then packed with donor bone tissue (allograft), bone chips taken from another bone (autograft), or other materials.
  • En bloc resection: The surgical removal of bone containing the tumor is necessary if the tumor is located in the pelvis or some other site. Internal fixation, with pins, may be required to restore the structural integrity of the bone. This option is rare for patients with osteoid osteoma.

Treatment for osteoid osteoma at The Bone and Soft Tissue Program

Our team developed a new technique that uses intra-operative bone scan during the surgical removal of spinal osteoid osteoma, which facilitates more accurate removal of the tumor.

What is the recommended long-term care for children treated for osteoid osteoma?

Although the recurrence rate is less than 10 percent, regular follow-up care is advised until adequate healing has occurred and your child is symptom-free.

A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:

  • physical exam
  • laboratory testing
  • imaging scans