Exostosis is an abnormal bone growth found on the exterior of normal bones, better known as osteochondromas. These lumps are most commonly seen in long bones, such as those located lower leg and feet, likely arising from repetitive pressure or trauma to the bony site over time. Previous fractures and injuries may also cause exostoses, making this medical condition important to monitor closely. Abnormal growths, known as exostoses, are commonly non-cancerous but can be problematic if left untreated. Symptoms such as swelling and pain with walking or running paired with decreased mobility in joints indicate the presence of an exostosis. Diagnostics, including X-rays or MRI scans, provide visual evidence for diagnosis confirmation prior to treatment – typically a surgical excision procedure followed by comprehensive rehabilitation exercises that work toward restoring strength and normal function postoperatively. In some cases, exostoses result from hereditary conditions such as multiple osteochondromatosis (MO). MO is an inherited disorder characterized by multiple benign cartilage-capped bony growths on long bones (including those in the foot and leg). People affected by this disorder are at higher risk for complications such as fracture or impingement syndrome due to these masses pressing against nerves or other structures near them. Although there is no cure for MO, surgeries can be performed to remove symptomatic masses. Additionally, regular follow-up appointments with a podiatrist are recommended for surveillance purposes so that any new masses can be removed promptly before more serious issues arise.
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