[Solitary osteochondroma of the limbs. Clinical review of 76 cases and pathogenic hypothesis]

Published online: Apr 27 2000

B Essadki, M Moujtahid, A Lamine, T Fikry, O Essadki, and B Zryouil.

Service d'Orthop├ędie-Traumatologie (Aile IV), CHU Ibn Rochd-Casablanca-Maroc.


The authors report a retrospective study of 76 solitary osteochondromas of the appendicular skeleton treated between 1981 and 1995. The ages of the patients ranged from 13 to 55 years with a mean of 21 years. The male/female-ratio was 1.37. Tumefaction with or without associated pain was the reason for consultation in 68 cases (89%). In 62 cases the osteochondroma was localized in the distal part of the femur or the proximal part of the tibia. All lesions were surgically resected; the resection was complete in all cases. Six patients were lost to follow-up; the other 70 were seen on a regular basis over a time period ranging from 1 to 12 years. The result from surgical treatment was assessed based on pain, joint motion, cosmetic consequences, nerve compression and recurrence of osteochondroma. The results were good in 68 cases and fair in two cases. Based on a review of previous experimental studies, the authors suggest a hypothesis to explain the rotation of a fragment of the growth plate which is needed for the development of osteochondroma. This rotation occurs as a result of the mechanical action from the periosteum under tension.