Management of osteoblastoma and osteoid osteoma of the spine in childhood

J Neurosurg Pediatrics 4:434-438, 2009. DOI: 10.3171/2009.6.PEDS08450

Osteoid osteomas and osteoblastoma of the spine are rare lesions in childhood, and management strategies have changed.

The authors reviewed their recent experience with these 2 types of lesions to elucidate current treatment modalities and outcomes.

Methods. Case records and radiographic images from all cases of osteoid osteoma and osteoblastoma diagnosed between 1993 and 2008 were retrospectively reviewed, including those managed nonsurgically.

Results. Thirty cases were identified; 22 were treated surgically and 8 were managed nonsurgically. The patients’mean age at presentation was 13 years (range 3–17 years). Of 30 patients, 29 (97%) presented with pain; 7 (23%) had scoliosis at presentation; 12 (40%) experienced relief with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication. Osteoid osteoma was diagnosed in 7 (32%) of the 22 patients who underwent surgery, and osteoblastoma in 15 (68%). Nine (41%) of the 22 surgically treated patients underwent fusion procedures (bone onlay or instrumentation) at the time of surgery. Pain freedom without medication had been achieved in 16 (73%) of the 22 surgically treated patients at a mean follow-up of 28 months (range 2–75 months) and was confirmed in 3 (38%) of the 8 nonsurgically treated patients at a mean follow-up of 33 months (range 24–51 months).

Conclusions. Osteoid osteomas and osteoblastomas can present challenging management problems in pediatric patients. In the majority of cases in which conservative therapy fails or pathological diagnosis is required, surgery using modern intraoperative imaging and spinal instrumentation can provide symptom relief and tumor control.