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5 Things You Need to Know About Exostosis

By Contributor ; Updated August 14, 2017

Too Much Bone

Exostosis is when extra cartilage forms on top of an existing bone. It can be a pretty painful condition or you can live with it your whole life and not let it affect you. It all depends on where the bone is located. Many people get exostosis on their toes and deal with the bumpy surface by wearing sandals or extra wide shoes. Unless the bone is giving you a problem, then there is no need to have it removed.

Bump on a Bone

Like any unusual growth, you should consult with a doctor to determine if it is malignant. The sudden appearance of a bump on a bone can signal other problems. On the other hand, if the extra cartilage has been there since birth, it is most like hereditary and benign. It may be uncomfortable or unsightly, which may be reason enough to have it removed.

Possible Periodontal Problems

Exostosis also is commonly found on the jawbone. The growth is caused by environmental factors such as teeth grinding at night or from poorly fitted dentures. The excess bone can grow on the upper jaw, lower jaw, or on both areas. If the extra bone growth does not stick out too far, then it may never cause any problems. If you need dentures or need to replace old dentures, the exostosis may need to be removed for proper fitting. Make sure that your dentist monitors the growth because it can get big enough to start moving your teeth out of place, creating a periodontal problem. Minor, outpatient surgery can remove the growth.

Double Digits

Unexplained lesions or stiffness in the hands can be the result of an exostosis growing deep beneath the skin. It could grow on a finger bone or between the fingers and not get big enough to be seen by the naked eye. An x-ray can spot the growth and surgery can relieve the problem.

Catch Exostosis Early

Exostosis can rear its ugly head on any bone in the body, but is typically caught when the extra bone rubs against other parts, such as in an elbow or knee joint. If you have a family history of bony growths, tell your physician when you present with unexplainable pains. You can save everyone a lot of testing and treatment if they look first for an exostosis. Any extra bone matter shows up on an x-ray. You would not want to treat it with cortisone or any other kinds of steroids that joint pain is often treated with when a simple procedure can end the suffering.

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