Enchondroma is a benign (noncancerous) bone tumour that originates in the cartilage, a specialized connective tissue. These tumours are usually found in the tiny long bones of the hands and feet but can also affect the thighbones, upper arm bones and the shinbones. The exact cause of these tumours is unknown.

Enchondroma are the most common type of tumour in hands. They can occur at any age but are most prevalent in children and young adults, and affects both genders and all races equally. 

Often, enchondromas do not cause any symptoms. When they do cause symptoms, they may be different for each child. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the hand due to a very large tumour

  • Fracture in weakened bones caused by the tumour

  • Abnormal growth of the affected area

  • Enlargement of the affected finger

Due to the lack or absence of symptoms, the tumour may be discovered in a routine physical exam or an X-ray for another reason​

​If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms in your child, set an appointment with a doctor at the Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital. 
​Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips ​​to help get you started.​

Initially, your doctor may inquire about your medical history and then conduct a thorough physical exam. For further confirmation, the doctor may request some tests including:

  • X-rays in which a small amount of radiation is used to generate an image of your bones and organs

  • Computerized Tomography (CT) scans in which a series of detailed images, of the body, are taken by a computer. This is done to produce a more detailed image

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans in which a series of detailed images of the body are made on the computer using a magnet and radio waves. This is done when the tumour is located in an area that is difficult to capture in X-rays 

  • Bone scan in which a radioactive material (radiotracer) is injected in the body which travels to the bones most affected by the disease. The radiotracer emits little bits of radiation which is detected by the camera as it scans the body​

An individualized treatment plan will be decided by your child’s doctor depending upon:

  • Your general health and medical history

  • Your tolerance to certain medications, procedures and therapies

  • The extent of the disease

If you show no symptoms, you may not require any treatment. However, you may be advised to come for regular check-ups so that the doctor can ensure that the tumour is not growing or getting worse. 

Surgery may be recommended if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain

  • Fracture

  • Abnormal growth of the tumour

  • Multiple tumours

These procedures involve:

  • Surgical removal of the tumour

  • Bone graft in which a healthy bone is transplanted from another part of the body, or from a donor, into the affected area​​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

​Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.