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The incidence and outcome of chondral tumours as incidental findings on investigation of shoulder pathology

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to describe outcomes of incidental chondral tumours in the shoulder referred to our Bone Tumour Unit (BTU).

Methods

Our hospital radiology database was searched using the filtered terms “enchondroma”, “low-grade chondral tumour”, “chondrosarcoma” with “humerus”, “arm”, “shoulder”, “scapula” and “clavicle”. Case note review of results assessed primary reasons for referral, radiological diagnosis, recommended management with subsequent reviews and outcomes, either in clinic or surveillance scan reports.

Results

Ninety-nine patients had full case note review, mean age 54.5 years (range 18–84 years). Mean follow-up was 41.7 months (range 1–265 months). Over 50% of patients were referred for shoulder pain. Three patients had high-grade chondrosarcoma. Forty-three patients had interval scans, none showing any changes. Thirty-five patients had surgery for their lesions with one recurrence. Forty-four patients had alternative diagnoses made on clinical and radiological examination. At most recent follow-up, 70% of these patients were asymptomatic after physiotherapy/surgical attention to their alternative diagnoses.

Conclusions

Chondral lesions in the shoulder have low risk of malignant transformation and are rarely responsible for shoulder symptoms. We recommend patients be referred to a dedicated BTU for surveillance if there are any concerning features, but to proceed with management for any alternative diagnosis.

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Correspondence to S. S. Jassim.

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Jassim, S.S., Hilton, T., Saifuddin, A. et al. The incidence and outcome of chondral tumours as incidental findings on investigation of shoulder pathology. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 30, 97–102 (2020) doi:10.1007/s00590-019-02532-1

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Keywords

  • Shoulder
  • Oncology
  • Chondrosarcoma