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Chondroblastoma in Children

  • At Boston Children's, we see many children with chondroblastoma, even though it's a rare tumor. Other institutions may see children with it just a few times a year. We're comfortable treating chondroblastoma because we see it so often.

    Megan Anderson, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Boston Children's Hospital

    If your teen or child has developed a chondroblastoma, it causes distress and disruption—for your child and the whole family. You’ll have concerns and questions about your child’s pain, treatment, length of recovery, long-term health and other issues. It may comfort you to know that Boston Children’s Hospital is a world leader in pediatric orthopedics, and we specialize in innovative, family-centered care that supports your family every step of the way.

    • Chondroblasts are specialized, cartilage-producing cells.

    • Sometimes, these cells can grow out of control and cause a benign (non-cancerous) tumor known as a chondroblastoma. The cause of this tumor is unknown and is being researched.

    • Chondroblastomas are usually found in the ends of long bones, such as the thigh bone (femur), upper arm bone (humerus) or shin bone (tibia). Sometimes they develop in the pelvis or hip socket. The vast majority of these tumors occur around the knee.

    • Although a chondroblastoma is considered a benign tumor, it has the potential to spread
      (metastasize) to the lungs. Metastasis is rare, occurring in less than 1 percent of cases.

    • The tumor can cause pain, inflammation, joint stiffness, limping and other symptoms.

    • It appears more often in boys than girls, usually during their teenage years.

    • Treatment is usually successful, and usually involves surgery. Kids typically feel better soon after treatment.

    • Chondroblastoma can recur; the rate of recurrence is up to 20 percent.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches chondroblastoma

    The experts in our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program are devoted to caring for children and teenagers with chondroblastoma. We take an in-depth, multidisciplinary approach to care that ensures that your child receives a personalized treatment plan—as well as supportive care before and after his treatment. For your child’s care, we draw on the expertise of specialists such as:

    • pediatric orthopedic and general surgeons who are nationally recognized for their expertise in removing bone and soft tissue tumors
    • pediatric experts from every needed medical subspecialty, including pathology, radiology physical therapy and bracing/casting
    • experienced pediatric nurses
    • Child Life specialists, psychologists, social workers and resource specialists

    Chondroblastoma: Reviewed by Megan Anderson, MD
    © Boston Children’s Hospital , 2011

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