Osteochondroma Deformity in the Toe or Foot

An osteochondroma is a noncancerous tumor that develops on the surface of a bone near a growth plate. The reason it develops near a growth plate is because cartilage is developing there and an osteochondroma is made of both bone and cartilage. The osteochondroma usually appears in childhood and adolescence and starts growing as the growth plate grows but then stops growing when the growth plate stops growing. The toe and foot osteochondroma deformity is usually something that should be monitored by not really worried about in most cases.

Cause of the Toe Osteochondroma Deformity

-Osteochondromas in the foot and toe are thought to be the most common benign (non-cancerous) bone tumors by a mile, making up about 1/3rd of all benign bone tumors in the foot. Like most tumors it is not exactly known why these things happen, anything could have caused it and it could even be genetic or through a random environmental agent.

-If you start to get multiple osteochondromas in multiple regions in the body you may need to start worrying about Maffuci’s Syndrome or other multiple osteochromatosis disorders, but otherwise you should be safe.

-It is difficult to prevent these because it is very difficult to predict who will get it and why they will get it.

Symptoms of Toe and Foot Osteochondromas

In most people they will cause no problems and will not be noticed unless you are getting an X-ray for a different reason and the podiatrist happens to notice them.

-Painless bump that may be confused with a cyst.

-Lifting of the toenail is the osteochondroma exostosis is underneath the nail.

-Pain on pressure because the skin and nerves are being compressed.

-Numbness or tingling because of nerve compression.

-Impinged blood vessel if it is very severe.


Osteochondroma Treatment:

-The best option is to go see a podiatrist where he will give you surgical options or decide to just monitory it, but most of the time you will be ok just monitoring it

-The podiatrist will use X-ray, MRI or ultrasound to come to this decision as well as the normal physical and historical exam.



Foot and Toe Osteochondroma Surgery Recovery Time:

-Surgical is usually advocated if the podiatrist believes that the osteochondroma is:

  • Causing Pain
  • Putting a Nerve or Blood vessel at risk
  • It has unusual characteristics on imaging

-If removed the osteochondroma will be checked with biopsy to see if there is anything to worry about, but usually there is not.

-The toe and foot osteochondroma surgery recovery time depends on how big it is and where the location is, but usually you should be on your feet in a couple of days or even immediately in a surgical with the main worry being to just get the wound closed.

Osteochondroma Links: