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Chondromas are very rare, benign tumors made of cartilage. They usually grow slowly and develop in the sinuses and the bones of the skull. They can also show up in the small bones of the hands, feet, upper arms, thighs and ribs. 

If they form in the marrow cavity of bones, they are called enchondromas. If they form on the bone’s surface, they’re called periosteal chondromas.




Chondromas grow slowly and can be present for a long time without any symptoms. They are often noticed during unrelated medical procedures. 

Symptoms of a chondroma may include:

  • A mass or bump 
  • Headache
  • Swelling
  • Vision changes

In rare cases, a chondroma can turn into cancer. When it does, it’s called a chondrosarcoma. Symptoms of chondrosarcoma in the skull base include:

  • Headaches
  • Hearing problems
  • Swelling
  • Vision problems


Your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms and perform a neurological exam. Tests to confirm diagnosis of chondroma may include:

  • Bone scan
  • Complete blood count
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • X-rays

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Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Aurora neurosurgeons helped create the Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA) to treat chondromas and chondorsarcomas of the skull base. EEA is a minimally invasive procedure in which the tumor is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery than traditional brain surgery.

Your doctor may also recommend radiation therapy to kill cancer cells and prevent the tumor from growing.


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