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Understanding Benign Bone Tumors And How They’re Treated

Scan of Cervical Column

The word ‘tumor’ is enough to strike fear into even the most stalwart patient. When that patient is a child, it can bring a chill to the bones of their guardian. It’s important to them to know that not all bone tumors are cancerous or even dangerous. Many of them are benign, meaning essentially harmless. Benign bone tumors are relatively rare when compared to malignant (harmful) ones. Even more importantly, it’s rare for them to turn into these harmful tumors. However, they can become problematic over time. They can cause weakness in the bones to which they’re attached. They can also cause pain by producing pressure on blood vessels and nerves.

What To Know About Treatments For Benign Bone Tumors In Children

Orthopedic specialists are dedicated to providing complete care with compassion and integrity. Most cases can be easily managed by a skilled practitioner using the latest techniques. Combined with the most recent technologies, the removal of benign bone tumors can be simple. These technologies, when combined with custom treatment plans, make even complex cases easier. We should take a moment to familiarize ourselves with the common types of bone cysts and tumors that can occur:

  • NOF – Non-ossifying Fibromas – These make up the majority of tumors found in patients. They most often appear in the femur or tibia (thigh and shinbone). To date, no NOF has become cancerous and is simple to remove.
  • Osteochondroma – This form of tumor develops on the growth plates found on our bone’s ends. These locations harden with age, settling when we reach adulthood. Often found on the arms, legs, and shoulders, your specialist can easily remove them.
  • Unicameral and Aneurysmal Bone Cysts – This form of a cyst may form on the bone, but they fill with liquid. They can cause fractures but are otherwise commonly painless. Aneurysmal cysts are filled with blood and can lead to bone deformity. They also form on the legs, shoulders, and arms.

It’s not uncommon for children who have bone tumors not to experience symptoms. They often won’t be noticed until they interfere with movement or function, typically due to size. The area affected may ache or even be quite painful. Diagnosis of these cysts begins with a physical exam. If your physician has reason to believe they’re present, your specialist will order imaging to confirm the diagnosis.

Learn More About Treatment Of Benign Bone Tumors

Following a confirmed diagnosis, the specialist may suggest conservative treatment options. The first step usually involves a waiting period while the problem area is observed using imaging. It often won’t be necessary to do anything, as many bone cysts and tumors fade independently. If they are found to be growing or persistent, they will consider additional steps. It’s at this point that the specialist will move on to surgical options.

What’s essential to recall during this process is the word “benign.” Your child’s life is rarely in danger from tumors or cysts like these. It’s simply a matter of determining if they need to be removed and then doing so. Once removed, your child will be able to return to their everyday life in no time at all.

Luc Teurlings, MD The team at Space Coast Orthopedics is proud to provide the communities of Merritt Island, FL, and the entire space coast with exceptional orthopedic services. From physical therapy to surgical solutions for concerns affecting joints resulting from sports injuries, natural aging, or trauma, we work with our patients to restore and maintain an active life.
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