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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Hereditary multiple osteochondromas


Other Names for this Disease
  • HMO
  • Hereditary multiple exostoses
  • Hereditary multiple exostosis
  • Multiple exostoses
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Treatment

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How might hereditary multiple osteochondromas (HMO) be treated?

Currently, there is no known medical treatment for HMO. Osteochondromas are not usually removed because they stop growing around age 12. Another consideration is how close the tumor is to the affected bone's growth plate, because surgery can affect how the bone grows.[1][2] Surgery may be considered, however, if an osteochondroma is causing pain, bone fracture, nerve irritation, or if the tumor continues to grow after the person's bones have stopped growing.[1][2] The surgical treatment of choice is complete removal of the tumor. Depending on the location of the osteochondroma, this may be relatively simple. However, if an osteochondroma is close to nerves and blood vessels, this may make surgery difficult and risky.[2]

Surgery may also be necessary to correct painful limb abnormalities that are caused by multiple osteochondromas. Surgery may be needed to cut and realign the bones that have become deformed, which is known as osteotomy.[2] If the legs are not equal in length, treatment may include a procedure to slow down the growth of the longer leg. Surgery may also be needed to correct the forearm deformity seen in this condition. Adults with this condition who have untreated forearm deformities usually do not have significant functional limitations.[1] Although rare, an osteochondroma can become cancerous (malignant), which usually takes the form of a low grade chondrosarcoma. This type of malignant tumor is unlikely to spread elsewhere in the body. Higher grades of cancer can occur, but this is even more uncommon. In that case, other therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation, may be used in treatment.[1][2]

GeneReviews provides more information about treatment for hereditary multiple osteochondromas.
Last updated: 3/11/2011

How might a malignant transformation in hereditary multiple exostoses (HME) be treated?

Chondrosarcomas in a person with HME tend to be well differentiated and low grade tumors. The tumors usually grow slowly and do not readily metastasize. Surgical removal is the recommended treatment as the condrosarcomas do not respond to radiation or chemotherapy.[3]

The prognosis or long term outlook after surgical removal of the chondrosarcoma for a person with HME is good as long as the tumor has not metastasized.[3]
Last updated: 12/31/2015

References
  1. Wuyts W, Schmale GA, Chansky HA, & Raskind WH. Hereditary Multiple Osteochondromas. GeneReviews. November 21, 2013; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1235/. Accessed 5/8/2015.
  2. Osteochondroma (Exostosis). Children's Hospital Boston. http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1079/mainpageS1079P0.html. Accessed 3/11/2011.
  3. Czajka CM & DiCaprio MR. What is the Proportion of Patients With Multiple Hereditary Exostoses Who Undergo Malignant Degeneration. Clin Orthop Relat Res. July 2015; 473(7):2344-61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25582066. Accessed 12/31/2015.


Management Guidelines

  • GeneReviews provides current, expert-authored, peer-reviewed, full-text articles describing the application of genetic testing to the diagnosis, management, and genetic counseling of patients with specific inherited conditions.

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Hereditary multiple osteochondromas. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
Other Names for this Disease
  • HMO
  • Hereditary multiple exostoses
  • Hereditary multiple exostosis
  • Multiple exostoses
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.