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What Is a Chondromyxoid Fibroma?

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  • Written By: C. Webb
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A chondromyxoid fibroma is an aggressive tumor typically found embedded in bone. Less than two percent of all bone tumors turn out to be chondromyxoid fibromas. While these tumors grow very quickly, they typically do not metastasize or spread to other parts of the body.

The age range when a chondromyxoid fibroma is most likely to appear is between 10 and 30 years old, with adolescence and young adulthood the highest risk period. Impact of the tumor on physical movement depends on the tumor's size and location. Tumors are usually 3 to 4 cm at the time of diagnosis.

A primary symptom of a chondromyxoid fibroma is pain close to the joint. Sometimes, the tumor causes a painful swelling, and on rare occasions it can fracture a bone. Many patients report a loss of range of motion in the extremity where the tumor is located.

An initial medical examination usually finds tenderness when the area near the tumor is palpated. Possible swelling as well as a measurable range of motion reduction are also possible. These symptoms typically prompt a referral for medical imaging tests.

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A chondromyxoid fibroma appears in imaging as a lesion with a border that resembles soap bubbles. The image may show calcification. On rare occasions, a fracture will be visible. These tumors are most often located in the tubular long bone of the leg but can also be found in other areas of the body, including the small bones of the hand.

Risks associated with a chondromyxoid fibroma occur primarily within the skeletal structure. These tumors can grow fast and destroy bone. Such fibromas recur following treatment in 15 to 25 percent of cases. Not treating them allows them to grow uninhibited and invade and damage surrounding tissues.

Diagnosis is confirmed through a biopsy. Treatment is the surgical removal of the tumor and radiation treatment of the bone and surrounding tissue. Possible complications from treatment include local site infection, bone fracture, and, in rare cases, a transformation to malignant status. A medical examination is warranted anytime symptoms of a chondromyxoid fibroma are present.

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