Sometimes called Codman’s tumor, a chondroblastoma is a rare type of noncancerous bone tumor that originates from cartilage. Cartilage is the specialized, gristly connective tissue and the tissue from which most bones develop. Chondroblastoma most often affects the ends of the long bones, near the growth plate, in the arms at the shoulder, and in the legs at the hip and knee.

Chondroblastoma is a rare type of bone tumor that can affect people of all ages. It is, however, most common in children and young adults. This type of tumor is also more common in males than females.

What causes chondroblastoma?

The exact cause of chondroblastoma is not known. The tumors are believed to originate from immature cartilage producing cells called chondroblasts.

What are the symptoms of chondroblastoma?

Symptoms of chondroblastoma may vary depending on the location of the tumor. The following are the most common symptoms of chondroblastoma:

  • Pain in the knee, hip and shoulder joint (pain may be slight or moderate and may be present for months or years)
  • Withered or shrunken appearance of the muscle near the affected bone
  • Impaired mobility of the adjacent joint
  • Fluid accumulation in the joint adjacent to the affected bone

How is chondroblastoma diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for chondroblastoma may include X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

How is chondroblastoma treated?

The goal for treatment of chondroblastoma is to remove the tumor and prevent damage to the end of the affected bone. Treatment may include:

  • Surgical removal of the tumor
  • Bone grafting. A surgical procedure in which healthy bone is transplanted from another part of the patient’s body into the affected area, if necessary, to repair damaged bone.
  • Reconstruction or replacement of an affected joint
  • Physical therapy to restore strength and function after surgery

The tumor may recur. Your CHOC doctor will follow-up with your child regularly to watch for a recurrence.