You're 25 years old, your fingers are stiff in the morning and hurt at the end of the work day. Your family doctor listens as you describe morning stiffness, pain and slight fatigue. You also have a lump on a swollen finger. Your doctor says that osteoarthritis can make joints swell, but suggests you see a specialist to rule out something more significant. You may feel that your doctor is too cautious, but he explains that this lump may be a Bone tumor or a sign of serious illness. However, many tumors are harmless. Orthopaedic specialists are better able to diagnose your lump and if it is a bone tumor, they are better prepared to treat it.
Bones have cartilage at their ends to make joints move smoothly. Osteoarthritis occurs when that cartilage wears away, allowing bones to rub against each other at the joints. Most people over the age of 60 have this wear and tear disorder, but It can also appear during your 20's and 30's under certain circumstances. Otherwise, an Enchondroma bone tumor may be the cause. Enchondroma bone tumors are cartilage cysts that grow in the bone generating symptoms that can be mistaken for other conditions. They usually grow during childhood and stop once you reach adulthood, but they can cause deformities that, in turn, cause abnormal cartilage wear and the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.
This Orthopaedic specialists singapore usually requires no treatment, but your specialist may watch it to make sure it isn't growing. The specialist may suggest surgery to scrape the tumor away, then fill the resulting gap with a bone graft. Some enchondroma can cause fractures, but they rarely become cancerous tumors. With a painful tumor, your doctor may first order an MRI to see if it presses on surrounding soft tissues or nerves. If your pain comes from the tumor and not from surrounding tissues, it may not be an enchondroma. It may be:
Fibrous dysplasia- Starting before birth, a gene mutation causes abnormal bone growth. Usually occurring in the thigh, shin, ribs, upper arms and skull.
A chondroblastoma- Also called "Codman's tumor", these painful tumors usually appear in males younger than 25 and at the end of the femur or the top of the tibia.
A giant cell tumor- Rare but aggressive, these tumors appear in adults between 20 and 40 years of age. They usually appear near the knee, wrist, shoulder and lower back.
While each type of tumor tends to grow in certain bones, they can grow in or on any bone. Fortunately, Orthopaedic specialists diagnose tumors based on their appearance and content, in addition to their location. Once diagnosed, the specialist can help you manage any discomfort and remove tumors or cysts that are causing problems. Hearing that a lump or bump may need attention may worry you, but most are benign and are not life threatening.