Local review of treatment of hand enchondroma (artificial bone substitute versus autologous bone graft) in a tertiary referral centre: 13 years' experience

Hong Kong Med J. 2015 Jun;21(3):217-23. doi: 10.12809/hkmj144325. Epub 2015 Mar 26.


Objective: To evaluate the treatment outcomes of enchondroma of the hand with artificial bone substitute versus autologous (iliac) bone graft.

Design: Historical cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary referral centre, Hong Kong.

Patients: A total of 24 patients with hand enchondroma from January 2001 to December 2013 who underwent operation at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Hong Kong were reviewed. Thorough curettage of the tumour was performed in all patients, followed by either autologous bone graft impaction under general anaesthesia in 13 patients, or artificial bone substitute in 11 patients (10 procedures were performed under local or regional anaesthesia and 1 was done under general anaesthesia). The functional outcomes and bone incorporation were measured by QuickDASH (shortened version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire) scores and radiological appearance, respectively. The mean follow-up period was 59 months.

Results: There were eight men and 16 women, with a mean age of 40 years. Overall, 17 cases involved phalangeal bones and seven involved metacarpal bones. Among both groups of patients, most of the affected digits had good range of motion and function after surgery. One patient in each study group had complications of local soft tissue inflammation. One patient in the artificial bone substitute group was suspected to have recurrence 8 years after operation. Among the autologous bone graft group, four patients had persistent donor site morbidity at the last follow-up. In all patients, radiographs showed satisfactory bone incorporation.

Conclusions: Artificial bone substitute is a safe and effective treatment option for hand enchondroma, with satisfactory functional and radiographic outcomes. Artificial bone substitute offers the additional benefits of enabling the procedure to be done under local anaesthesia on a day-case basis with minimal complications.

Keywords: Anesthesia, local; Bone transplantation; Chondroma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Bone Substitutes / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Chondroma / diagnostic imaging
  • Chondroma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Ilium / transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Transplant Donor Site
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Bone Substitutes