Enchondroma is a rare type of non-cancerous tumor that develops in cartilage, a type of tissue that is found inside of bones and is involved in bone growth. The most common location where enchondroma develops is in the small bones of the hands and feet. Enchondromas may also grow in the long bones of the thigh and the upper arm. Tumors form when a change (mutation) in DNA causes certain cells to grow out of control, resulting in the formation of a mass or a lump.
Enchondromas are most often found in individuals between the age of 10 and 20, although they can be found in all age groups. The most common symptoms of enchondroma include enlarged fingers, bone fractures, and general bone deformities. A common sign of this condition is the formation of a lump in the hands or feet, which may or may not be painful. Enchondromas may also slow bone growth in the affected area. Diagnosis may involve a physical exam, imaging studies, and other laboratory studies.
Treatment for enchondroma depends on many factors such as how large the tumor is and its location in the body. These tumors may be removed with surgery or may be monitored without immediate treatment. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with enchondroma, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also available for more resources and information.