​Osteoid Osteoma


Osteoid osteoma is a small benign (noncancerous) tumour that arises from the osteoblast (bone building cells). It is found in the long bones of legs, usually in the thighbones but it can also occur in the bones of the hands and lower part of the spine. These tumours are less than a centimetre and half in size.

The reason for their cause is unknown.

Osteoid Osteoma can be painful but it does not spread. It can occur at any age but mostly affects children and young adults. In young children, it can cause the bone deformity or overgrowth of bone. Boys are more likely to suffer from Osteoid Osteoma than girls.​​

Symptoms of Osteoid Osteoma can be different for each child, they include:

  • Dull or sharp pain that intensifies at night. This pain is not related to activity.

  • Pain which is alleviated by aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs

If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms in your child, you should take them to a doctor at 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.

Effective treatment depends on accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will take your child through a series of tests to determine the exact type of tumour and whether it has spread. These include:

  • Physical exam involving tests of reflexes, muscle strength, coordination, alertness, eye and mouth movements etc.

  • X-rays in which a small amount of radiation is used to generate an image of the bones and organs, to detect the presence of a tumour

  • Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, in which a series of detailed images of the body are taken by a computer  

  • 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 to produce better images of soft tissue

  • Biopsy, in which a tissue sample of the tumour is extracted to be studied under the microscope

The treatment options that may be offered to you or your child will include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to help in pain relief.

  • Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, in which a needle is inserted beneath the skin and radiofrequencies are passed through it to kill the tumour cells by heating them to a high temperature. This is a minimally invasive procedure

  • Curettage, in which the tumour is scrapped out of the bone. Recurrence of tumour after this procedure is rare.

While cure is possible with successful treatment, tumours can recur. Therefore you should be constantly vigilant with regular follow-ups of your child.   

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.