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 Enchondroma 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 each individual’s growth period because it has an essential 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. Still, 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 entire stage of development when the body is between 10 to 20 years of age, which is when the bone structure strengthens and acquires its final form.

People who suffer from this disease must have strict control and medical checkup because some types of Enchondromas 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 Enchondroma

Depending on the patient and their physical and genetic condition, several or a single tumor may occur. It 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: is recognized by the formation of various tumors in various body parts. This condition is also called “enchondromatosis.”


People who suffer from this condition usually have no visible symptoms in the first instance; even if they 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:

  • Depending on where the tumor is located, Ailments in the hands or feet occur when the bone is weakened or when the Enchondroma is found with an apparent size or speedy 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 an Encondroma or another type of condition; due to their similarity with other diseases, they must also validate the advanced state 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 using the reproduction of pictures of the affected area, allowing the discarding of some anomalies in the spinal cord, tissues, and nerves 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, or bone fracture.
  • Computed tomography combines 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:

  • The patient’s medical history, the state of health that presents, and if he has suffered from previous diseases linked to the bone structure.
  • The affected person’s age 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 intolerant 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 body area in an optimal state.