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    Old 08-17-2006, 10:39 PM   #1
    sharon7270
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    Osteochondroma

    My son is 4 years old and has been diagnosed with an osteochondroma. He has a rather large lump on his right knee growing from the bone. The osteo wants to keep twice yearly checks on this, but I am worried. Has anyone had experience with this??

     
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    Old 09-23-2006, 09:31 PM   #2
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sharon7270
    My son is 4 years old and has been diagnosed with an osteochondroma. He has a rather large lump on his right knee growing from the bone. The osteo wants to keep twice yearly checks on this, but I am worried. Has anyone had experience with this??
    Yes, I have experience with it. Osteochondromas are the most common benign bone tumor - it is usually recommended that you keep an eye on them but don't have them removed (especially not until the person is no longer growing). It's good that your osteo wants to keep an eye on it -- but rest assured, there is only a 1%-2% chance that it is/will become malignant.

    I would encourage you to read up on osteochondromas on the internet so you can understand them better, and also for reassurance.

    I have an osteochondroma on my femur above my knee which I have had for over 10 years (doctors said I've probably had it for even longer), and I am having mine removed but only because it interferes so much with my leg movement and causes so much pain.

    I hope this helps!

    Last edited by r0cky; 09-23-2006 at 09:43 PM.

     
    Old 10-14-2006, 01:01 PM   #3
    CheerAngel
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Hi sharon, I am dx with osteochondroma too. Had it for years and although it's giving me pain on and off, I still can bear with it. Will be having a follow up end of this year with the orthopedic doc. Mine's above my knee too, on my right femur.

    r0cky: did you have check ups on the tumor every year ever since you were dx with it? How big is it? Do let me know how is the surgery for removing the tumor. Thanks!

    sharon7270: since your son is still growing, it's good that the doctor is keeping an eye on it at least twice a year.

     
    Old 10-14-2006, 01:10 PM   #4
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CheerAngel
    Hi sharon, I am dx with osteochondroma too. Had it for years and although it's giving me pain on and off, I still can bear with it. Will be having a follow up end of this year with the orthopedic doc. Mine's above my knee too, on my right femur.

    r0cky: did you have check ups on the tumor every year ever since you were dx with it? How big is it? Do let me know how is the surgery for removing the tumor. Thanks!

    sharon7270: since your son is still growing, it's good that the doctor is keeping an eye on it at least twice a year.
    Unfortunately no, I had no idea it was a tumor until earlier this year. I had it x-rayed about 10 years ago and the guy said it was a "bone spur" ... well, it wasn't. Anyway, it started causing such pain and problems that I decided to go to a doctor who said it was a tumor, and then I waited awhile and finally went to an orthopedic oncologist who also x-rayed it, said it was almost definitely benign, and scheduled me for surgery to remove it since it was causing me not to be able to walk/exercise without extreme pain.

    I had the surgery to remove it last Wednesday - the 4th - and the surgery itself was very very easy. It took less than an hour and was done on an outpatient basis, so I was able to go into the hospital around 6:45, have my surgery at 8:00, and was out of there by 11:00am the same day. It was VERY swollen, and they gave me crutches. The pain was not bad at all until around 10pm that night when I finally had to take my first pain pill.

    It's been a week now since my surgery (well, a week + some days) and although some of the swelling has gone down, I still can't walk without crutches or bend my leg. I am also still on a pretty regular dosing of Tylenol alternating with Advil for the pain which comes and goes. The muscles around the area feel very tender, pulled, and bruised.

    I am going to get the stitches out and for them to check it out this Wednesday, and hopefully they'll be able to tell me more about how long it will take for things to normalize.

    That said, I am still glad I chose to go through with the surgery - my quad muscles were getting caught on the tumor and twisted, and would rub on the tumor every time I bent my leg. I know that once my muscles relax and I can start walking and exercising normally again, I will be so grateful to be free of that tumor (even though it was relatively small, it caused crippling pain).

    Anyway ... I'm glad I had the surgery.

     
    Old 10-15-2006, 05:32 AM   #5
    CheerAngel
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Hi r0cky,

    I wish that you have a full recovery from the surgery. Is the surgery under general or local anesthesia? Do you know how they removed the tumor? My doc says if I were to go for the surgery, I would get a 10cm incision... ouch! Anyway, I'm not in extreme pain yet so surgery's not on my mind but would like to know what will happens if I need it in future.

     
    Old 10-15-2006, 06:45 AM   #6
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CheerAngel
    Hi r0cky,

    I wish that you have a full recovery from the surgery. Is the surgery under general or local anesthesia? Do you know how they removed the tumor? My doc says if I were to go for the surgery, I would get a 10cm incision... ouch! Anyway, I'm not in extreme pain yet so surgery's not on my mind but would like to know what will happens if I need it in future.
    Surgery is done under general anesthesia, but luckily the procedure itself doesn't take long, so you aren't "under" for much time and that helps. My incision is about 3.75" long. Unfortunately, I don't know how they removed it exactly, but when I go in this Wednesday, I will be sure to ask! (and I'm glad yours is not causing you extreme pain!)

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 07:02 PM   #7
    Plummy03
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    How did the surgery to remove the osteochondroma go? I have one on my right knee, right above the knee. It's located on the femur. My surgery is scheduled for next month. The doctor told me I should be able to walk fine right after the surgery. Is that true?

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 07:14 PM   #8
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plummy03
    How did the surgery to remove the osteochondroma go? I have one on my right knee, right above the knee. It's located on the femur. My surgery is scheduled for next month. The doctor told me I should be able to walk fine right after the surgery. Is that true?
    It totally depends on the location, and on what they actually end up needing to do during the surgery once they open the leg up. On mine, I was supposed to be able to walk fine right after as well - but due to his having to cut through some muscle, I wasn't able to bend my leg for about three and a half weeks after the surgery (partially due to muscle tightness, partially due to swelling, and partially due to the muscle he had to cut into) ... so he sent me to physical therapy and within two sessions I was able to bend my leg about 100 degrees ... and the second week of PT I was able to bend it just as much as my other leg!

    I'm still in PT, and on my third week. I have three weeks left, and we are just working on getting my muscle tone back, as I lost one inch of muscle in the calf and one inch in the quad/hamstring area.

    So, even though I was able to limp around with a stiff leg a week after surgery without crutches, I wasn't able to bend my leg at all until about 3.5 weeks afterwards, but once the physical therapist helped, I was able slowly to loosen things up and force my leg to bend. It hurts at first and is pretty scary (it feels like it's going to explode!) but the therapist reassured me through the whole thing and improvement came very very quickly once I started with her.

    That said, it is completely different for everyone. You may be able to walk immediately, or your muscle may be very stiff for awhile - whatever the case, it will still feel better after having it removed! The surgery itself was a piece of cake, and I only had to use my prescription pain pills for two or three days (mostly at night, while using tylenol and advil during the day). Even then, I only had to use half a pill at a time!

    If you have any other fears or questions or anything, let me know and I'd be glad to try to answer or reassure you. You definitely made the right decision to have it removed.

    Has it been causing you pain after exercise or anything like that? Mine was!

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 07:28 PM   #9
    Plummy03
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    I've had the osteochondroma ever since I was 14, but I didn't know that until I saw the doctor last week. I took a bad fall in basketball and I noticed a bump forming above my knee after that. I saw the trainer, and he told me it was just a cyst so I ignored it because it never hurt or bothered me. But this past year, the knee has started to bother me a lot. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because my knee is like causing stress. It doesn't hurt, I can just feel soreness. Then lately, it's just been bothering me more and more. I can feel soreness going up and down stairs and have tingling feelings in my leg all the way down to my toes. I finally made the appt. with the ortho. surgeon and had my appt. last week. I was looking at the x-rays with the doctor and the osteochondroma looked really big on the x-ray. This weekend, I go in for the MRI. I'm just hoping I'll be able to walk fine afterwards. The doctor doesn't know if it's attached to any muscle since we only took x-rays. Luckily, I was able to schedule the surgery for December 6. I can't wait for it to come sooner to get this thing out of my leg because ever since the appt. with the doctor last week, my knee has been bothering me even more.

    He did tell me I have to take PT after the surgery because he said I will lose muscle mass. That will be kinda hard to do because it's the holidays and I will be out of town for three weeks.

    What else should I expect from the surgery? I've had major surgery before so I'm not scared. I'm just anxious to see what they find in my knee.

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 07:40 PM   #10
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plummy03
    I've had the osteochondroma ever since I was 14, but I didn't know that until I saw the doctor last week. I took a bad fall in basketball and I noticed a bump forming above my knee after that. I saw the trainer, and he told me it was just a cyst so I ignored it because it never hurt or bothered me. But this past year, the knee has started to bother me a lot. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because my knee is like causing stress. It doesn't hurt, I can just feel soreness. Then lately, it's just been bothering me more and more. I can feel soreness going up and down stairs and have tingling feelings in my leg all the way down to my toes. I finally made the appt. with the ortho. surgeon and had my appt. last week. I was looking at the x-rays with the doctor and the osteochondroma looked really big on the x-ray. This weekend, I go in for the MRI. I'm just hoping I'll be able to walk fine afterwards. The doctor doesn't know if it's attached to any muscle since we only took x-rays. Luckily, I was able to schedule the surgery for December 6. I can't wait for it to come sooner to get this thing out of my leg because ever since the appt. with the doctor last week, my knee has been bothering me even more.

    He did tell me I have to take PT after the surgery because he said I will lose muscle mass. That will be kinda hard to do because it's the holidays and I will be out of town for three weeks.

    What else should I expect from the surgery? I've had major surgery before so I'm not scared. I'm just anxious to see what they find in my knee.
    Well .... mine wasn't attached to the muscle either, but in order to get to the bone, they had to cut through the muscle that was in the way.

    I'm glad your surgery is coming up so soon - waiting is the worst part.

    As for what you should expect from the surgery --- it will be pretty painful for awhile, and like I said, you may find that everything is very swollen and tight, and that you have some trouble bending your leg (and of course, as your doctor told you, you will lose some muscle mass) ... but everything will start to get back to normal pretty quickly, just be patient with yourself and remember that as soon as you wake up from the surgery you've gone through the worst part because it's no longer in there and you'll never have that pain from it again! Which is great!

    I don't know how long I had mine ... but I played soccer all of my life, so I'm sure it was around for a long time. I first noticed it about 12-13 years ago, and had a doctor tell me it was a "bone spur" so I lived with it until now when it started really REALLY causing me trouble and making it difficult to walk some days, and aching all through the night. I had it x-rayed and found out it was a tumor. Mine was benign, as most are, and I'm glad I had the surgery in spite of the pain afterwards.

    My doctor didn't tell me that I'd have to be in physical therapy, or that I'd have trouble walking/bending my leg -- if I had known those things were possible, I would've felt a little less discouraged immediately after when I couldn't walk, knowing it was normal and to be expected.

    One thing that is good is that the surgery shouldn't take very long, so you won't "be under" for much time which decreases the chance of complications and side effects. I woke up in the recovery room, they showed me my tumor, and then gave me a diet coke and some graham crackers! It was good - no nausea or anything.

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 07:53 PM   #11
    Plummy03
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Did you get to keep your tumor? I go back to see the doctor soon to talk about my MRI results. I kind of want to keep it. Were you able to keep your X-Rays too? I haven't asked my doctor if I could yet.

    The doctor wanted to do surgery soon since my bump on my knee is larger than usual.

    Last edited by Plummy03; 11-01-2006 at 07:54 PM.

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 07:56 PM   #12
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plummy03
    Did you get to keep your tumor? I go back to see the doctor soon to talk about my MRI results. I kind of want to keep it. Were you able to keep your X-Rays too? I haven't asked my doctor if I could yet.
    Nah, they send the tumor off to the lab to make sure it isn't malignant. As for the x-rays, you can normally ask for a copy.

    I have a copy of mine.

    But I never had an MRI ... though I was looking forward to seeing what it was like.

    Be sure to ask for a copy of your x-rays --- plenty of people ask for copies, whether for their own records, or for another doctor.

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 08:08 PM   #13
    Plummy03
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    The doctor said the MRI was for to see if it's benign or malignant. I'm not really sure. I just know that he insisted on me having an MRI done. It doesn't matter to me because my insurance is covering everything 100%. I just don't like the fact that I have to rearrange my schedule to fit everything in.

     
    Old 11-01-2006, 08:39 PM   #14
    r0cky
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plummy03
    The doctor said the MRI was for to see if it's benign or malignant. I'm not really sure. I just know that he insisted on me having an MRI done. It doesn't matter to me because my insurance is covering everything 100%. I just don't like the fact that I have to rearrange my schedule to fit everything in.
    Yeah, it's definitely a pain rearranging everything.

    As for the MRI, it can definitely give them an idea of what size it is (exactly) and what amount is bone v. cartilage ... but the only way to know FOR SURE about the benign/malignant issue is for a pathology lab to test it once it has been removed.

    But, the MRI gives them a good idea, and only a TINY percentage of osteochondromas are malignant (something like 2% or less, I think).

     
    Old 11-02-2006, 04:12 AM   #15
    kehorner
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    Re: Osteochondroma

    Sadly, doctors won't let you keep hardly anything these days. Soft tissue (as a cartilagenous tumor would be considered) is definitely not given out. I couldn't even keep my gallstones when I got those out. Something about public health laws. The only thing that is medically removed that you are routinely allowed to keep is teeth that have been extracted. And, of course, if they are worried about pathology, they have to send if off to the lab.

     
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