Imaging of solitary and multiple osteochondromas: From head to toe - A review

Clin Imaging. 2023 Nov:103:109989. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2023.109989. Epub 2023 Sep 26.


Osteochondromas account for 20%-50% of all benign bone lesions. These tumors may present as solitary non-hereditary lesions, which are the most common presentation, or as multiple tumors associated with hereditary conditions. Plain radiography is the imaging method of choice and demonstrates the typical cortical and medullary continuity of the tumor with the underlying bone. Magnetic resonance imaging is often performed to evaluate cartilage cap thickness, which correlates with malignant transformation. Other local complications include compression of adjacent neurovascular bundles, muscles, and tendons, bursitis, tendon tears, stalk fracture, and angular or rotational long bone deformities. Although the imaging features of osteochondromas are largely known, only a few papers in the literature have focused on their main complications and image-based follow-up. This paper aimed to illustrate the main complications of osteochondromas, suggest an image-based algorithm for management and follow-up and discuss differential diagnosis.

Keywords: Imaging; Magnetic resonance; Multiple exostosis; Osteochondroma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Exostoses, Multiple Hereditary* / complications
  • Exostoses, Multiple Hereditary* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Osteochondroma* / complications
  • Toes / pathology