Have you ever heard of enchondroma? It’s the most common bone tumor of the hands and feet, and it’s a benign tumor comprised of cartilage that forms in the bone beneath the toenail. Though it is typically painless, the tumor can cause thinning of the cortex, which can weaken the bone and cause spontaneous breaks.
In some instances, an enchondroma can occur in the small bone at the end of the toe and cause pain that feels similar to the pain of an ingrown toenail. So, if you experience this type of pain, it is best to have your feet checked by a foot doctor or podiatrist, such as Dr Gilbert Huang DPM.
Enchondromas can also occur in larger parts of the bones, and occasionally individuals have multiple enchondromas. In fact, a condition known as Ollier’s Disease or enchondromatosis is characterized by multiple enchondromas in small bones such as the hands and toes or in the long bones, which are called metatarsals, located behind the phalanges. Another rare form of enchondromatosis is Maffucci’s Syndrome. This type of enchondromatosis combines multiple enchondromas in bones, anywhere in the body, with benign soft tissue tumors called hemangiomas that are associated with blood vessels. Maffucci’s Syndrome often appears in the hands and feet and has a higher likelihood of becoming malignant compared to Ollier’s Disease.
Most enchondromas are usually found when X-rays are taken for a different reason, as they are typically painless. CT scans and MRI are also helpful in diagnosing enchondromas. However, aggressive tumors that destroy bone tissue require attention, which often involves surgical removal.
In conclusion, while enchondroma is mostly benign and frequently painless, it is important to consult a foot doctor or podiatrist if you experience any type of foot or toe pain. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is an excellent option and can help you diagnose and treat any foot-related conditions, including enchondroma.