Benign Bone Tumors

Benign (non-cancerous) bone tumors are relatively common; however, clinically significant and symptomatic bone tumors are less frequent.  There is a wide array of benign bone tumors ranging from non-active asymptomatic enchondromas (low-grade cartilage tumors) to locally aggressive giant cell tumors of bone that have the potential to create significant bony destruction and pain.

Common Types of Benign Bone Tumors:

  • Osteochondroma
  • Chondromyxoid fibroma
  • Synovial chondromatosis
  • Chondroblastoma
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Osteoblastoma
  • Non-ossifying fibroma
  • Giant cell tumor of bone
  • Hemangioma
  • Lipoma
  • Unicameral bone cysts (simple bone cyst)
  • Aneurysmal bone cyst
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Osteofibrous dysplasia
  • Langerhans’ cell histiocytosis

Diagnostic Studies and Test:

Most bone tumors require x-rays to visualize the lesion. In addition, advanced imaging including MRI and CT scan are often used to visualize the tumor in better detail. Occasionally labs are beneficial to the diagnostic workup. Many benign tumors can be diagnosed based upon imaging characteristics; however, certain tumors require biopsy for definitive diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is obtained, all cases are reviewed at the Parkview Cancer Institute’s Multidisciplinary Sarcoma & Musculoskeletal Tumor Conference by our dedicated Sarcoma Care Team to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Treatment of Benign Bone Tumors:

Many benign tumors do not require treatment and can be observed over time with periodic x-ray imaging. Benign tumors that are symptomatic or painful are often treated with curettage and bone grafting of the tumor. Certain bone tumors may benefit form adjuvant surgical therapies. For example, argon beam laser therapy may be utilized to minimize risk of local recurrence in aneurysmal bones cysts and other benign tumors. Some tumors are treated with nonsurgical methods. For example, osteoid osteomas are often treated with radiofrequency ablation performed by our interventional radiology team.

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