What is marginal exostosis of the vertebral bodies?

Exostosis of the spine, which are also called osteochondroma is benign, resembling the growth on the surface of the bone. This disease often is not independent and relates to the complications of different diseases. 

Exostosis can have very different shapes and sizes, in the most advanced cases, they can exceed 10 cm.

First growth appears in the center of the cartilage, and only after some time he becomes ossified and spongy bone. From the outside it is covered with a shell – very thin and very durable. Further growth occurs due to the presence of this surface to some amount of hyaline cartilage.

As a rule, independently exostosis are not, and only in very rare cases, they may go away on its own. But usually they are actively growing and increase in size.

Most often diagnosed before the age of 20 years, which is associated with the growth of the skeleton. In adults these tumors are rare.


The reasons for the development of these growths can be a variety of diseases and pathologic conditions, for example:

  1. Injuries and bruises.
  2. Infringement of the periosteum.
  3. A consequence of chronic inflammatory process in the bones.
  4. Aseptic necrosis.
  5. Disorders in the endocrine system.
  6. The torn ligaments.
  7. Operation.
  8. Syphilis.
  9. Anomalies of the spine.
  10. Chondromatous.

There is also a genetic predisposition. But sometimes, to understand the cause of this disease is not obtained, and then the disease is called idiopathic.

How does

The clinical picture of this pathology may be very different, and it all depends on what place is the exostosis. Some ask, what is marginal exostosis of the vertebral bodies. To answer this question is quite simple –it is bone formations, which are at the edges of the bone.

Most often the disease occurs without any symptoms, and anomalies are only detected by radiography. Sometimes they can grow to such a size that they become visible even to the naked eye.

Growths can cause pain and discomfort and restrict movement. Sometimes, without treatment, the build-up gradually degenerates and becomes the real malignant tumor.

You should know that in the area of the spine exostosis appear quite rare. Most often their location – bones of the limbs and joints. More often affects the tibia and femur, forearm, pelvis, collarbone, scapula and ribs.

Another rare location – the phalanges. Here the diameter is often less than 1 cm It is the location most often causes pain and deformity of the nail plate.

Located in other places, the growths do not cause pain. If the pain still happen, then we can talk about the development of the cancer process.

It also happens that osteochondroma are on the move and their bones can be several pieces. This may cause deformation of the skeleton, which happens due to the disruption of normal bone growth.

When located in the vertebrae there is a great danger that osteochondroma will start to grow inside that will cause severe irreversible damage to the spinal cord, and here the symptoms will be expressed very clearly.


The diagnosis is based on inspection and palpation of prospective places for development of bone spurs. To clarify it is important to take x-rays. Often the disease has no symptoms and is found accidentally.

At the same time to know the true size of the education with the help of x-rays is difficult, because this technique does not allow to see the cartilage.


When the exostosis is small and does not bother him just conduct periodical surveillance. Treatment is not assigned. However, in any case, you cannot use physical therapy, as it can trigger the development of cancer.

If education begins to grow and becomes visible, surgery is performed to remove it. Removed build-up, but the periosteum is to prevent the development of recurrence.

Rehabilitation after this treatment is 10 – 15 days. But if the tumor suddenly appeared on his knee, then his removal is immobilization of the limb using plaster splints for a period of 2 weeks.

With proper treatment, recovery occurs fairly quickly and relapses don’t happen.

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One thought on “What is marginal exostosis of the vertebral bodies?

  1. Very well written story. It will be helpful to anybody who employess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

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