The management and surgical intervention timing of enchondromas: A 10-year experience

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Abstract

Enchondroma, reportedly the most common primary tumor of the long bones of the hand, usually develops during the first till fourth decades of life. However, there has no consensus been reached regarding the surgical intervention timing for these patients. We aim to evaluate the optimal surgical intervention timing for the patients with fractures due to enchondromas, investigate the impact of pathological fractures on the treatment and outcomes in these patients.

Medical records and X-rays of patients treated for enchondroma of the hand from 2005 to 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. We collected 148 cases in total and 92 of them had complete information including X-rays, medical records, and files of follow up.

There were no significant differences in terms of consolidation time after surgery, recurrence rate, and DASH scores between the groups with and without fractures; the treatment costs were higher in the group with fractures than those without fractures; however, patients without fractures were able to resume work earlier than those with fractures.

The pathological fractures associated with enchondromas have no significant impact on the treatment outcomes compared to those with simple nonfractured enchondromas. Although the cost was more expensive for patients treated primarily with pathological fractures due to enchondromas, these patients could resume their work normally much earlier than those treated by delayed surgery. Early surgical intervention is recommended for better results and no increased risks for patients with pathological fractures caused by enchondromas.

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