Benign Bone Tumors of Childhood

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The diagnosis of a bone tumor in a child can be a source of great anxiety for the patient, the parents, and the treating physician. Fortunately, most bone tumors in children are benign. Although there are a variety of benign bone tumors that affect skeletally immature patients, most have such characteristic clinical and radiographic presentations that the diagnosis can be made with reasonable accuracy without a biopsy. However, some benign bone tumors can simulate a malignant process and may be best handled by referral to a person trained in orthopaedic oncology for additional evaluation. Treatment alternatives are in part related to the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society stage of the lesion. Recurrences of certain lesions, such as aneurysmal bone cysts and osteoblastomas, can be problematic. By becoming familiar with the presentation of the more common benign bone tumors in children, physicians will be able to alleviate fears, establish a diagnosis, and make treatment recommendations in the most effective manner.

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