Osteoid osteoma

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Update Date 11/05/2020 . 3 mins read


What is osteoid osteoma?

An osteoid osteoma is a benign (non-cancerous), small tumor that occurs most often in the long bones of a person’s lower extremities. The thighbone is the most common location where it grows, although it can develop in the bones of the hand, and it sometimes occurs in the lower part of the spine. The size of an osteoid osteoma is approximately 1.5 cm.

The tumor may cause pain, but it doesn’t spread. Once an osteoid osteoma is formed there is a large amount of reactive bone formed around them and also tend to form new bone material called the osteoid bone. This osteoid bone along with the tumor forms the center of the tumor and can be clearly seen on radiological imaging like x-rays.

How common is osteoid osteoma?

Osteoid osteomas are frequently found in children and adolescents but they can occur at any age. This condition seems to occur more often in boys than girls. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of osteoid osteoma?

While symptoms may vary from child to child, the most common include:

  • Dull or sharp pain. This pain is most frequently in the night, and patients sometimes wake up from the pain. The pain may also occur during the day. Sometimes the pain gets worse over time
  • Pain that is usually relieved by aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Lumping
  • Painful scoliosis and muscle spasticity (when the tumor is located in the spine)
  • Growth disturbance (when the tumor is involved with a bone’s growth plate)
  • Muscle wasting
  • Bowing deformity
  • Nerve symptoms like sciatica (when the tumor is located in the spine)

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you or your loved one has any signs or symptoms listed above or you have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes osteoid osteoma?

An osteoid osteoma occurs when certain cells divide uncontrollably, forming a small mass of bone and other tissue. This growing tumor replaces healthy bone tissue with abnormal, hard bone tissue. No one knows exactly why this occurs.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for osteoid osteoma?

Please consult with your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is osteoid osteoma diagnosed?

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 is osteoid osteoma treated?

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.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage osteoid osteoma?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with osteoid osteoma:

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

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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