Eleven patients with spinal osteoid osteoma and six patients with spinal osteoblastoma treated between 1975 and 1990 were reviewed to characterize the tumors as they affect the spine and to define the important differences between the two tumors. All patients with cervical osteoid osteoma presented with pain, limited range of motion of the neck, and torticollis. Four osteoblastomas had soft-tissue components in the epidural space, necessitating dissection of the tumor from the dura. No soft-tissue component was found in any of the osteoid osteomas. Our results were similar to a metaanalysis of the clinical, radiographic, and surgical findings of all published cases of spinal osteoid osteoma and osteoblastoma. Important features that have not been emphasized in the literature are the high incidence of torticollis with cervical lesions and the frequent association of epidural invasion with osteoblastoma. Surgeons treating osteoblastoma of the spine should be prepared to dissect tumor from the dura.