Let’s Talk About Enchondromas


Have you ever heard the word enchondroma (en-kon-DRO-ma)? This is a kind of non-cancerous tumor that originates in the cartilage found inside your bones. Enchondromas are typically asymptomatic; that is, they don’t cause pain or discomfort and don’t spread throughout the body. In fact, most enchondromas are revealed through an x-ray or other imaging test being performed to diagnose an unrelated symptom.

When multiple enchondromas form in the phalanges and metatarsal bones of the feet, this is Ollier's disease, also known as enchondromatosis. There is a very rare form of enchondromatosis called Maffucci's syndrome, in which enchondromas combine with benign soft tissue tumors known as hemangiomas. Maffucci's syndrome tends to appear in the feet and must be monitored carefully by your podiatrist, as there is a risk that these tumors will become malignant. Additionally, because Ollier’s disease and Maffucci’s syndrome involve multiple tumors, bone deformity is a risk.

Anyone can develop enchondromas, but they most commonly occur in children and young adults ages 10-20. They often develop in the small bones of the hand but can also be found in the femur, tibia, and other bones of the legs and feet. In the feet, they are often found under the toenail. Enchondromas are the most common form of tumor found in the feet and hands. Doctors do not know why enchondromas occur or what can be done to reduce the risk of developing these benign tumors.

Most enchondromas are not painful and do not require treatment. However, in rare, severe cases, multiple tumors weaken the bone and cause it to fracture. In such cases, surgery is required to remove the tumors and protect the bone from further injury.

If you have been diagnosed with enchondromas in your feet, or if you have any other concern about the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit to the podiatrist is in order. With years of specialized training and experience, a board-certified podiatrist like Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM is the best-qualified professional to help you with examination, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care. Schedule a convenient appointment in our modern, comfortable Pikesville office today. Call the friendly Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care staff at 443-872-7052 or click here to get started