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An enchondroma is a benign cartilage tumour found inside bones. Enchondroma_sentence_0

Typically, enchondroma is discovered on an X-ray scan. Enchondroma_sentence_1

Enchondromas have a characteristic appearance on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as well. Enchondroma_sentence_2

They have also been reported to cause increased uptake on PET examination. Enchondroma_sentence_3

Symptoms Enchondroma_section_0

Individuals with an enchondroma often have no symptoms at all. Enchondroma_sentence_4

The following are the most common symptoms of an enchondroma. Enchondroma_sentence_5

However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Enchondroma_sentence_6

Symptoms may include: Enchondroma_sentence_7


  • Pain that may occur at the site of the tumor if the tumor is very large, or if the affected bone has weakened causing a fracture of the affected boneEnchondroma_item_0_0
  • Enlargement of the affected fingerEnchondroma_item_0_1
  • Slow bone growth in the affected areaEnchondroma_item_0_2

The symptoms of enchondroma may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Enchondroma_sentence_8

Always consult your physician for a diagnosis. Enchondroma_sentence_9

Associated conditions Enchondroma_section_1

An enchondroma may occur as an individual tumor or several tumors. Enchondroma_sentence_10

The conditions that involve multiple lesions include the following: Enchondroma_sentence_11


  • Ollier disease (enchondromatosis) - when multiple sites in the body develop the tumors. Ollier disease is very rare.Enchondroma_item_1_3
  • Maffucci's syndrome - a combination of multiple tumors and angiomas (benign tumors made up of blood vessels).Enchondroma_item_1_4

Cause Enchondroma_section_2

While the exact cause of enchondroma is not known, it is believed to occur either as an overgrowth of the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones, or as a persistent growth of original, embryonic cartilage. Enchondroma_sentence_12

Pathophysiology Enchondroma_section_3

Enchondroma is a type of benign bone tumor that originates from cartilage. Enchondroma_sentence_13

The exact etiology of it is not known. Enchondroma_sentence_14

An enchondroma most often affects the cartilage that lines the inside of the bones. Enchondroma_sentence_15

The bones most often involved with this benign tumor are the miniature long bones of the hands and feet. Enchondroma_sentence_16

It may, however, also involve other bones such as the femur, humerus, or tibia. Enchondroma_sentence_17

While it may affect an individual at any age, it is most common in adulthood. Enchondroma_sentence_18

The occurrence between males and females is equal. Enchondroma_sentence_19

It is not very likely that the enchondroma will grow back in the same spot; the rate is less than ten percent. Enchondroma_sentence_20

Diagnosis Enchondroma_section_4

Because an individual with an enchondroma has few symptoms, diagnosis is sometimes made during a routine physical examination, or if the presence of the tumor leads to a fracture. Enchondroma_sentence_21

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for enchondroma may include the following: Enchondroma_sentence_22


  • x-ray - On plain film, an enchondroma may be found in any bone formed from cartilage. They are lytic lesions that usually contain calcified chondroid matrix (a "rings and arcs" pattern of calcification), except in the phalanges. They may be central, eccentric, expansile or nonexpansile.Enchondroma_item_2_5

Differentiating an enchondroma from a bone infarct on plain film may be difficult. Enchondroma_sentence_23

Generally, an enchondroma commonly causes endosteal scalloping while an infarct will not. Enchondroma_sentence_24

An infarct usually has a well-defined, sclerotic serpentine border, while an enchondroma will not. Enchondroma_sentence_25

When differentiating an enchondroma from a chondrosarcoma, the radiographic image may be equivocal; however, periostitis is not usually seen with an uncomplicated enchondroma. Enchondroma_sentence_26


  • radionuclide bone scan - a nuclear imaging method to evaluate any degenerative and/or arthritic changes in the joints; to detect bone diseases and tumors; to determine the cause of bone pain or inflammation. This test is to rule out any infection or fractures.Enchondroma_item_3_6
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. This test is done to rule out any associated abnormalities of the spinal cord and nerves.Enchondroma_item_3_7
  • computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.Enchondroma_item_3_8

Treatment Enchondroma_section_5

Specific treatment for enchondroma is determined by a physician based on the age, overall health, and medical history of the patient. Enchondroma_sentence_27

Other considerations include: Enchondroma_sentence_28


  • extent of the diseaseEnchondroma_item_4_9
  • tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapiesEnchondroma_item_4_10
  • expectations for the course of the diseaseEnchondroma_item_4_11
  • opinion or preference of the patientEnchondroma_item_4_12

Treatment may include: Enchondroma_sentence_29


  • surgery (in some cases, when bone weakening is present or fractures occur)Enchondroma_item_5_13
  • bone grafting - a surgical procedure in which healthy bone is transplanted from another part of the patient's body into the affected area.Enchondroma_item_5_14

If there is no sign of bone weakening or growth of the tumor, observation only may be suggested. Enchondroma_sentence_30

However, follow-up with repeat x-rays may be necessary. Enchondroma_sentence_31

Some types of enchondromas can develop into malignant, or cancerous, bone tumors later. Enchondroma_sentence_32

Careful follow-up with a physician may be recommended. Enchondroma_sentence_33

See also Enchondroma_section_6


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchondroma.