When cells divide abnormally and uncontrollably, they can form a mass or lump of tissue, called a tumor. Bone tumors form in your bones and, as the tumors grow, abnormal tissue can displace healthy tissue.
Both bone tumors and the treatments designed to eradicate them can affect bone growth. Different types of tumors can grow into bone and soft tissues, producing pain, limping, and limb length discrepancy, including:
- Osteochondroma – As the most common type of benign bone tumors, osteochondromas develop in adolescents and teenagers. Often, they form near the actively growing ends of long bones, such as the arm or leg bones, which can damage the growth plates.
- Osteosarcoma – As the second most common type of bone tumors, osteosarcomas usually develop in the hip, shoulder, or knee. This type of tumor grows rapidly and tends to spread to growth plates of the thighbone and lower leg bone.
- Fibrous dysplasia – As a gene mutation that makes bones fibrous and vulnerable to fracture, fibrous dysplasia in the femur can cause pain, limping, bowing, and limb length discrepancy.
- Wilms’ tumor – In children, a Wilms’ tumor is a tumor of the kidney, which can cause hypertrophy of the lower limb on the same side – making one leg shorter than the other.
- Enchondroma – As cartilage cysts that grow inside the bone marrow, enchondromas are often associated with Ollier’s disease. Endochondromas of the arm and thigh can create a limb length discrepancy.