Osteochondroma means a growth or tumor of the bone and usually involves multiple exostoses. This is a benign or harmless kind of tumor, but usually starts developing in childhood or teenage years.
To understand osteochondromas, you will need to know a bit about how bone growth takes place in children.
Growth Plate of Bone
Growth plate is the distal part of the bone from which bone development progresses in a child. It is made of cartilage and once development reaches the final stage, it transforms and hardens to form bone tissue.
How Does an Osteochondroma Develop?
An osteochondroma develops from the growth plate of the bone. This is a very important feature to note because it means that once the growth plate stops growing, the osteochondroma will also stop growing.
So, in cases of osteochondroma in young patients, the growth of the tumor will stop as soon as the patient reaches skeletal maturity.
Osteochondromas can progress as a solo tumor (osteocartilaginous exostosis) or as several tumors (multiple osteochondromatosis). The clinical picture will differ according to the type of osteochondroma that the patient has.
Solitary osteochondromas are by far the most common benign bone tumor. Approximately 35% to 40% of all benign bone tumors belong to this category. This can develop in males and females.
It is important to note that if there is outgrowth of extra bone from the growth plate, then it creates a solitary osteochondroma in a child.
That is why the typical and usual locations of these solitary bony outgrowths are found at the junction of 2 long bones where they meet in a joint, like for example, the knee joint, hip joints and shoulder joints. It could also be found at the hallux, where it is known as subungual exostosis.
Sessile / Pedunculated Solitary Osteochondromas
Depending upon the manner in which these solitary osteochondromas are attached to the long bones, they are classified as sessile or pedunculated.
If there is an extended part of bone that looks like a stalk at the base of the osteochondroma, then it is called as a pedunculated solitary osteochondroma.
If the base is broader and there is no clear demarcation between the extra bony tissue outgrowth and the original long bone, then it will be called as a sessile osteochondroma.
Causes for Osteochondromas
What causes these osteochondromas to develop? Solitary tumors could form after a certain type of fracture in children known as the Salter-Harris fracture, where the growth plate of the bone is fractured.
The other common causes are after surgery and after radiation therapy.
MHE could be caused by hereditary autosomal dominant, where the mutant gene is inherited from one parent.
It could be caused by mutations in the EXT1, EXT2, EXT3 genes, which are also known as tumor suppressor genes.
Symptoms of Osteochondroma
Usually there are no troubles associated with these solitary bone tumors and it is commonly found out when a routine X-ray is done for some other unrelated health issue.
But symptoms can develop later, when the size of the tumor grows and causes obstruction to surrounding structures.
So, it is routine for patients coming for osteochondrosis treatment at Live Positive to present with large sized exostoses.
Complications of Osteochondrosis
In case the osteochondroma is positioned below a tendon, it may cause friction or rubbing of the tendon over the underlying bone and thus lead to excruciating pain during activity of that particular muscle or bone. There is also danger of the tendon to develop tears.
If the osteochondroma presses on a surrounding nerve, then patient develops numbness and tingling in the connected extremity.
It is possible for an osteochondroma to press on a blood vessel too. In such a case, the blood flow to the connected part will be affected and can cause intermittent variations in blood flow.
Pedunculated osteochondromas could break off from the stalk in case of an injury, blow or fall or any mechanical injury. There will be pain and puffiness in that part.
Multiple osteochondromas are more common in males. They are also referred to as hereditary multiple exostoses (HME) or multiple hereditary exostoses (MHE). Compared to solitary tumors, patients with multiple osteochondromas have a greater risk of developing malignant bone tumor. When the osteochondromas turn malignant, they usually develop as chondrosarcomas.
70% of these patients have inherited it and in other 30%, cause is unknown.
Risk of Cancer in Multiple Osteochondromas
The risk of developing cancer is higher in multiple osteochondromas. Due to this, it is necessary for these patients to be closely examined and monitored throughout their life.
If there is pain developing in the tumors, or if the multiple osteochondromas have developed after puberty, or the thickness of the cartilage cap is more than 2 cm, then it could indicate development of malignancy or cancer in these patients.
Conventional Treatment of Osteochondroma
The only treatment option available in Allopathy or modern medicine is exostosis removal surgery. The extra bone or bone tumor is excised by surgical intervention.
If cancer (Chondrosarcoma) develops, then the only treatment is surgical excision of the malignant tumor. No chemotherapy or radiation is used.
Exostosis Removal Surgery
This is a commonly suggested and only method of treatment. Typically, this surgery will cost anywhere between 1 lakh to 5 lakh rupees on an average ($1500- $7700). The costs may escalate even further depending upon the number of tumors to be removed or excised.
Exostosis removal surgery has many undesirable aspects. As with any kind of surgery, an invasive procedure is associated with great pain, complications and risks.
The amount of time spent in hospital stay for the surgery and subsequent convalescence is also quite high.
In multiple osteochondromas, there is often a need for conducting repeated surgeries, which is surely not a viable option.
Treatment Without Surgery of Osteochondromas
Homeopathic medicines are fully capable of osteochondroma removal without surgery. The right homeopathic medicines can not only disintegrate the exostosis but also ameliorate the associated complaints like pain, swelling and discomfort.
Live Positive Multispeciality Homeopathic treatment for osteochondromas of bone is lower-priced than all the other treatments and is also safer, pain-free and gives permanent tumor removal without surgery.
Our osteochondroma homeopathy treatment protocol takes between 8-18 months (depending upon the number and size of the bone tumors) but once completed safeguards permanent relief without recurrence.
Suffering from Solitary Osteochondroma of Bone / MHE/ HME/ Multiple Osteochondromas?