This is a non-cancerous tumor, almost like Osteoid Osteoma. Except these tumors are larger.
To understand this tumor, first read about Osteoid Osteoma.
Osteoblastoma is a non-cancerous bone forming tumor, similar to osteoid osteoma. It appears as red to purple granular mass that easily crumbles. It has rich blood supply.
Almost 40% of this tumor occurs in the spine. Men get this more often than women.
Complication due to Osteoblastoma
This condition is usually not life-threatening. But it can cause severe pain. When it is spine, the deformations can start compressing the nerves and make things worse.
Symptoms of Osteoblastoma
Symptoms of this disease are similar to an osteoid osteoma, with two exception. (1) These symptoms are much more aggressive and (2) the back pain does not occur at night.
Following are the common symptoms of osteoblastoma:
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
- Muscle weakness
- Pain, tingling or weakness that travel from the back towards the legs (symptoms of nerve compression)
Diagnosis of Osteoblastoma
Since symptoms are similar for most vertebral tumors, imaging modalities are required to identify the type of tumor.
- CT Imaging
CT Scan is the investigation of choice for this tumor.CT image can help to identify the tumor in its early stage as the bone changes can be clearly observed.
X-Ray can miss small tumors in their early stages. So, X-Ray imaging is not recommeneded for initial diagnosis. But once the treatment has started, X-Ray images can be used to monitor the improvement.
Treatment for Osteoblastoma
Following are the standard treatments available for osteoblastoma patients
There are no medications available to stop or reverse the tumor. But doctors often prescribe pain relievers to temporarily alleviate the pain.
Complete Surgical Resection: This is the treatment of choice for Osteoblastoma. Successful removal of the complete tumor provides immediate pain relief and good neurological recovery for the patients.
Patients with symptoms of nerve compression must undergo immediate surgery to relieve the compression and prevent permanent loss of functions.