Costal osteochondroma causing pneumothorax in an adolescent: a case report and review of the literature

J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Nov;45(11):2250-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2010.06.045.


Costal osteochondroma is a rare but important condition to recognize because of the possibility of serious consequences if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Patients can present with numerous complications, including hemothorax, pneumothorax, nervous or vascular impingement, and fracture. We report the case of a 17-year-old adolescent boy who presented to the pediatrician with intermittent shortness of breath and pleuritic chest pain. A chest x-ray demonstrated a left-sided pneumothorax and triangular opacity in the left chest. A computed tomographic scan of the chest revealed the cause to be a costal exostosis of the anterior fifth rib. The lesion was excised using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, which has become an increasingly popular method for treating these lesions, causing significantly less morbidity and allowing for a faster recovery than a major thoracotomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bone Neoplasms / complications*
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteochondroma / complications*
  • Osteochondroma / diagnosis
  • Osteochondroma / surgery
  • Pneumothorax / diagnosis
  • Pneumothorax / etiology*
  • Pneumothorax / surgery
  • Ribs*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed