Osteoblastoma is a rare, benign bone-forming tumor. Unlike most primary bone tumors that favor the extremities, osteoblastoma occurs most often in the lower vertebrae of the spine or the long bones of a lower extremity. It can also occur in any of the bones of the arms, legs, hands or feet. These are not aggressive tumors, do not become malignant and don’t spread elsewhere in the body, but they can produce painful symptoms. One form the disease is considered aggressive because it will likely recur after complete surgical removal of the tumor.
Patients with osteoblastoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through the Bone & Soft Tissue Program. Continue reading to learn more about osteoblastoma or visit the Bone & Soft Tissue Program homepage to learn about our expertise.
Common symptoms of osteoblastoma include:
When these tumors occur in the spine, they can cause painful scoliosis (abnormal curving of the spine), muscle spasms, and limited range of motion. In addition to a complete physical exam, a doctor may order the following to diagnose osteoblastoma:
After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.
Treatment for osteoblastoma usually involves a surgical operation to remove the tumor. Two types of surgery are performed to remove these tumors:
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy do not have any therapeutic effective with this type of tumor.
Our orthopedic surgeons, clinicians, and families discuss rotationplasty, a surgical option for treating certain bone tumors. It allows a child to avoid full amputation of the leg.