Introduction to Bone Tumors

  • Jim S. Wu
  • Mary G. Hochman


Focal lesions in bone are encountered frequently during everyday clinical practice. While some lesions are true neoplasms, many represent benign entities. Determining which lesions require evaluation and which should be left alone can be a daunting process. On occasions, the imaging appearance is pathognomonic or highly suggestive of a specific entity; thus, imaging can play a determinative role in clinical management. Although the ultimate goal is always to arrive at a definitive correct diagnosis, this is often not possible based on the available clinical and imaging data. In practice, it is important to provide a short, reasonable list of relevant diagnoses, making sure that malignant tumors are not inappropriately omitted and that benign lesions are not overtreated. In order to do this effectively, it is important to understand some basic principles regarding the evaluation of bone tumors and their characteristic imaging features.


Bone Tumor Pathologic Fracture Fibrous Dysplasia Giant Cell Tumor Osteoid Osteoma 

Suggested Reading

  1. 1.
    Fletcher CD, Unni KK, Mertens F, editors. WHO classification of tumours: pathology and genetics of tumours of soft tissue and bone. Lyon, France: IARC; 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Freiberger R. Thoughts on the diagnosis of bone tumors. Radiology. 1984;150:276.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greenspan A, Jundt G, Remagen W. Differential diagnosis in orthopaedic oncology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ilaslan H, Schils J, Nageotte W, Lietman SA, Sundaram M. Clinical presentation and imaging of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas. Cleve Clin J Med. 2010;77 Suppl 1:S2–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jaovisidha S, Subhadrabandhu T, Siriwongpairat P, Pochanugool L. An integrated approach to the evaluation of osseous tumors. Orthop Clin N Am. 1998;29:19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lietman SA, Joyce MJ. Bone sarcomas: overview of management, with a focus on surgical treatment considerations. Cleve Clin J Med. 2010;77 Suppl 1:S8–S12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Miller TT. Bone tumors and tumorlike conditions: analysis with conventional radiography. Radiology. 2008;246:662–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Murphey MD. Fundamental concepts of musculoskeletal neoplasms: radiographs. Radiol Pathol. 2006;2:720–32.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    O’Connor MI. Musculoskeletal imaging: what information is important to the orthopedic oncologist? Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2007;11:273–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ofluoglu O, Boriani S, Gasbarrini A, De Iure F, Donthineni R. Diagnosis and planning in the management of musculoskeletal tumors: surgical perspective. Semin Interv Radiol. 2010;27:185–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Peabody TD, Gibbs Jr CP, Simon MA. Evaluation and staging of musculoskeletal neoplasms. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1998;80:1204–18.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pommersheim WJ, Chew FS. Imaging, diagnosis, and staging of bone tumors: a primer. Semin Roentgenol. 2004;39:361–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Resnick D, editor. Diagnosis of Bone and Joint Disorders. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders; 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim S. Wu
    • 1
  • Mary G. Hochman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations