Periosteal chondroma

Periosteal chondroma

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

A chondroma that develops from periosteum or periosteal connective tissue.

Periosteal chondroma is one type of chondroma, occurred in the surface of bone, the periosteum, the tendons and ligament. Periosteal chondroma can be seen from children to adults in all age groups, is located in the backbone of long bones or metaphysis, mostly occur in the proximal humerus.

The exact cause of periosteal chondromas is unknown. Research is underway to determine if there is a genetic or environmental relationship to this benign tumor. The periosteal chondroma is the same basic pathology as the enchondroma except that it presents on the surface of a tubular bone. It can occur as a hamartomatous process in growing patients but as with the enchondroma it is usually asymptomatic and growth stops at bone maturity. The lesions are found in large bones, such as the humerus and femur, and in the small bones of the hand and foot. Radiographically, slight erosion into the adjacent cortex will be seen but the lesion will not penetrate into the medullary canal. A sclerotic response at the base extends around the periphery of the lesion taking on the appearance of a blister on the surface of the bone with matrix calcification seen mainly at the periphery but also found in the central area. The lesions usually stop growing before they reach the upper limit of 3-4 cm in diameter. If growth continues beyond this, one must strongly consider the possibility of a peripheral surface-type chondrosarcoma that would continue to grow after bone maturity.

Approximately sixty cases of periosteal chondroma have been described in the Literature. The exact prevalence is unknown due to unavailability of the statistics.


Symptoms include:

    Dull, achy pain.

  • Swelling.

  • A mass that can be felt.

  • A broken bone.


Diagnosis may include the following tests:

    Blood tests.

  • X-rays, which produce images of bones on film.

  • Radioisotope bone scan, which can help locate an area of abnormal bone growth.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan, which uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images ("slices") of the body.

  • EOS imaging, a newly FDA-approved imaging technology which creates 3-dimensional models from two planar images. Unlike a CT scan, EOS images are taken while the child is in an upright or standing position, enabling improved diagnosis due to weight-bearing positioning.


The long-term outlook for a patient with periosteal chondroma varies from patient-to-patient depending on:

    The extent of the disease.

  • The size and location of the tumor.

  • The presence of absence of malignant degeneration.

  • The age and overall health of the patient.

  • Tolerance for specific medication, procedures or therapies.

Treatment consists of a simple surgical resection without disturbing the sub-adjacent cortex so that bone grafting or internal fixation devices are not necessary. The recurrence rate is very low after maturity.

NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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