Osteoid osteoma of the elbow: A diagnostic challenge

Kristy L. Weber, Bernard F. Morrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Osteoid osteoma is a painful benign neoplasm that is rarely found in the elbow region. Methods: The study included fourteen patients, and we believe that this is the largest reported series of patients with osteoid osteoma of the elbow evaluated at one institution. Most of the patients had had symptoms for a prolonged period and had had multiple invasive procedures before an accurate diagnosis was made. Although findings on physical examination generally are nonspecific and are not always accurate in localizing the lesion, plain tomograms and computed tomography scans were most helpful in identifying the nidus in the present study. Thirteen of the patients had limited motion of the elbow before the definitive diagnosis was made, and ten of these thirteen had a mean flexion contracture of 38 degrees. Results: Removal of the nidus resulted in relief of pain and improvement in the range of motion of the elbow in all fourteen patients. A persistent postoperative flexion contracture was more common in the patients who had had a previous arthrotomy of the elbow than in those who had not had that procedure. Conclusions: It is important to recognize this uncommon entity to avoid the morbidity associated with a prolonged delay in diagnosis. Because the symptoms resolve after excision of the lesion, the surgeon can avoid unnecessary soft-tissue dissection and release of the contracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1119
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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