Thermoablation of benign bone tumour in childhood (osteoid osteoma / OO)
The osteoid osteoma is a primary bone tumour and its symptoms are characteristic: pain at night which can typically be relieved rapidly by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin. The tumours are usually located in the long hollow bones of the legs, and less frequently in the arm bones or the spine.
Osteoid osteomas are benign, i.e. they demonstrate no inclination to form sister growths or metastases. However the pain for the usually young patients is very burdensome and can lead to misalignment and inappropriate mechanical stress and consequent joint wear.
In the past, these patients often had to undergo extensive surgical intervention. For around 15 years, it has been possible to remove these tumours with heat. This method, known as “thermoablation” is now regarded as the standard treatment for osteoid osteoma.
(The term “ablation” actually means removal of release of tissue, however it is also used in (tumour) cell inactivation through radiogenic, thermal, electrical, biomechanical or chemical effects).