Can osteoid osteoma turn cancerous?

Osteoid osteoma is a benign tumor that generally develops in the skull. Depending on where it develops, it can cause hazardous issues, such as severe headaches or sinus infections. Osteoid osteoma is a type of brain tumor. It is not cancer. It remains concentrated with the part of the body where it started.

Sparsh Hospital Yeshwanthpur specializes in the field like oncology, gynecology, orthopedics, internal medicine, rehabilitation, and many more. If you are anyone you know is going through underlying symptoms of osteoid osteoma, you can consider talking to the doctors of the SPARSH hospital. The doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other medical staff of the hospital are trained to provide you with complete care. They do not let you feel inferior because of not getting reliable medical services. For the staff of the hospital, each patient is equal. They help to remove the disparities from society and provide you with medical services in relevance to the social norms.

  • The center of the osteoid osteoma is the nidus. It consists of the growing cells of a tumor, blood vessels, and cells that grow over time and form a bone.
  • Osteoid osteoma usually is a small tumor that measures less than 1 inch across. They typically form in the long bones, especially the thigh bone called femur or shin bone called tibia.
  • Osteoid osteoma may also develop the bones in the area of the spines, arms, hands, fingers, ankles, or feet. Also, they can occur in other bones but are less generally common.
  • Osteoid osteoma is generally painful. They create the chances of dull pain that can turn from moderate to severe. The pain is worse during nighttime.
  • Osteoid osteoma can occur more often in men than women. They also occur in children and young adults up to the age of 24. The medical condition can occur at any stage.
  • Although osteoid osteoma tends to form in the skull, it can develop in the long bones of the body including shin or thigh bones. The osteoma that occurs in the long bones is called osteoid osteoma.

Types of osteoid osteoma

Typically, there are three categories of osteoid osteoma. These are:

  • Compact: They consist of very dense bone material.
  • Spongy: They are similar to normal bone and often include bone marrow.
  • Combined or mixed: They are both compact and spongy and have similar qualities.

Osteoid osteoma can occur anywhere on the bones in the skull. They are common in the jawbone and paranasal sinuses.

Symptoms of osteoid osteoma

Most of the cases of osteoid osteoma do not cause any symptoms. There may be chances that a person may not realize that it is the growth of cells until the doctors examine the symptoms of sinuses or the skull due to bad health issues. The size and the location of osteoid osteoma may contribute to the potential symptoms. For example, the smaller growth of the cells is likely to create the symptoms. Larger growth also causes symptoms based on the location. Following are the potential locations of osteoid osteoma:

  • Near the sinuses: An osteoma near the sinuses can cause obstructions which may prevent the mucus from draining and lead to other symptoms of sinus infection.
  • Near the eye: An osteoma can also develop near the eye
  • Forehead or skull: An osteoma that is located on the forehead or skull may cause headaches.
  • Jawbone: An osteoma developed on the jawbone can cause facial pain or pain while moving the mouth.
  • Ear: An osteoma can also develop in the ear. This may lead to temporary hearing loss. However, it may go away or resolve with the help of medications or reliable treatments.
  • Long bones: Osteomas on the long bones in the body are called osteoid osteoma. 

An osteoid osteoma can cause dull pain that may turn from moderate to severe. It can develop in terms of intensity and can worsen with the time that especially becomes worse during night time. The pain is not usually related to the activity. A person with osteoid osteomas may be suffering due to pain that gets severe and develops within a few years before the doctor sees it in the form of diagnosis. Depending on the location of the tumor, it can turn the normal body part into a swelled body part.

Cause of osteoid osteomas

It can develop at any age and in any body part. However, the causes of osteoid osteomas are still unknown.

Doctor Examination Regarding the Symptoms of Osteoid Osteomas

Your doctor may perform a physical examination that may utilize imaging studies and other tests to diagnose the tumor.

  • Imaging Studies

X-rays create a clear picture of the dense structures. They help diagnose the causes of osteoid osteomas. An x-ray of the painful area may reveal the thickened bone surrounding the small central core.

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan

A CT scan provides a cross-sectional image of the affected area. A CT scan can show the nidus that is called the center of the tumor.

  • Biopsy

A biopsy helps to understand the medical condition more accurately. Your doctor may diagnose the small sample of the tumor that is taken under the test of the microscope. Your doctor may give a local anesthetic summary of the area that is numb. A biopsy may follow a small operation. Imaging studies are highly suggestive in case you have osteoid osteomas. In case, if the medical condition is highly visible in the imaging test, your doctor may not suggest you biopsy.

  • Other tests

In addition to a biopsy or imaging test, your doctor may suggest you blood test that may help to rule out the infection.


  • An osteoid osteoma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor that develops in the long bones of the body. It generally develops in the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shinbone).
  • Although osteoid osteomas can cause pain and discomfort that does not spread to other body parts, they can affect people of all ages. It can occur in children as well as adults.
  • Osteoid osteomas tend to be small that are less than 1.5 cm in size that does not grow further.
  • They typically cause the reactive bone to form around them. They create a new type of abnormal bone material that is called osteoid bones.
  • This osteoid bone along with the tumor cells from the nidus of the tumor. The spots of osteoid osteomas are clearly visible in the X-rays.
  • Osteoid osteomas can occur in any body part but are more often found in the bones of the legs.
  • Osteoid osteomas may occur at any age but are more common for the ages between 4 and 25 years old. Males tend to develop the medical condition three times more than females.
  • Osteoid osteomas are benign or noncancerous. They do not spread to distant body parts.

Recovery from osteoid osteomas

The time taken to return to normal activities may depend on the procedure or the location of the tumor. In many cases, a person suffering from osteoid osteomas may return to the normal daily routine within a few days after having some restriction. You may have a resolution of the symptoms of osteoid osteomas within 24 hours especially after you have radiofrequency ablation. Your doctor may give you instructions to guide you for recovery.

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