Enchondroma: Causes, Characteristics, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is a tumor that develops in the bony part of the body, mainly in the cartilaginous tissues and is not carcinogenic.

That is, the Encondroma is characterized by attacking the cartilage that is found inside the bones.

Cartilage is a tissue that works for the development and formation of bones, which is very important in the period of growth of each individual because it has an important value in bone strengthening.

There are several types of cartilage throughout the bone structure but the Encondroma only affects a specific type.

In most of the cases studied, this tumor affects the bones of the hands and feet, but in some cases it can be so invasive that it appears in other sectors of the body such as the femur, humerus or tibia, which can be very unpleasant for the affected.

The Encondroma affects both men and women and can appear at any age but more often in the full stage of development, just when the body is between 10 to 20 years of age, which is the time when the bone structure it strengthens and acquires its final form.

People who suffer from this disease must have a strict control and medical checkup because there are some types of Enchondromas that can mutate or become malignant.


Some studies suggest that the appearance of this benign tumor occurs due to the malformation of the cartilages when they are in the process of development, caused by an abnormal growth that begins to cover the bones coming from the embryonic matrix cartilage.

Characteristics of a tumor Encondroma

Depending on the patient and their physical and genetic condition, several or a single tumor may occur and may be linked to diseases or congenital syndromes of the organism, such as:

  • Maffucci syndrome: this condition is identified by the appearance of multiple benign tumors or angiomas, which are mutations composed of blood vessels.
  • Ollier’s disease: it is recognized by the appearance of various tumors in various parts of the body. This condition is also called “enchondromatosis.”


People who suffer from this condition usually have no visible symptoms in the first instance, even if they do appear they can be confused with other diseases, everything depends on the affected and how advanced the tumor or tumors may be.

However, the most common or registered ones can be:

  • Ailments in the hands or feet, this depends on where the tumor is located and occurs when the bone is weakened or when the Encondroma is found with a pronounced size or in a very fast growth.
  • Sudden deformation of the affected finger or fingers, that is, they tend to abnormal and disproportional growth.
  • The bone of the affected area does not grow adequately, instead the Enchondroma develops or covers more space.


The medical specialist must perform various physical tests to check if the patient’s symptoms correspond to a Encondroma or another type of condition, due to the similarity they can have with other diseases, they must also validate the advanced condition and the steps to follow.

In the first instance they are made:

  • X-ray test: this evaluation allows, through electromagnetic energy, to capture the images of the bones and internal tissues that may be affected.
  • Magnetic resonance: is used mainly to thoroughly evaluate the bone structure, by means of the reproduction of images of the affected area, also allowing the discarding of some anomaly in the spinal cord , tissues and nerves located in that area.
  • Scanner with radionuclides: this method offers an assessment of the joints and if there is any degenerative change or arthritic defect. It is functional to determine if there are tumors in the bones or any condition, infection and bone fracture.
  • Computed tomography: is the combination of X-rays with computer technology that allows more defined images of cross sections such as muscles, organs, fat and bones.

Treatment of the Enchondroma

The type of treatment will be determined by the specialist doctor, depending on the following conditions:

  • Medical history of the patient, the state of health that presents and if he has suffered from previous diseases linked to the bone structure.
  • The age that the affected person may have, because in some cases patients tend to be adolescents, which makes the type of treatment difficult because they are in the growth stage.
  • How advanced the tumor or tumors may be.
  • Evaluate if the patient is allergic or has intolerance to some medications, therapies or procedures.

After analyzing all these factors the treatment could contemplate:

  • Surgery: This procedure is recommended when the bone is so weakened that spontaneous fractures occur.
  • Grafting: a transplant is performed on the bone affected by a bone from another area of ​​the body that is in an optimal state.