Cartilage is a type of connective tissue of vertebrates and humans. Its functions are different, for example, it consists of intervertebral discs. The cartilage covers the ends of the bones and, together with the joint fluid, reduces friction between the moving bones, and is also part of the structure of the larynx and the auricle. It is also necessary for the formation of bones, for example, after fractures of bones. In the cartilaginous tissue there are no blood vessels, there are few cells in it and they are surrounded by a large amount of intercellular space - the matrix. In the cartilage contains 70-80% water, 10-15% - inorganic substances.
In the cartilaginous tissue, as in any other tissue of the human body, tumors can form. However, they are rare, can be benign and malignant. Benign tumors are chondromas. They are of two kinds: ekkhodromy and enkhodromy. Ectodromes are formed from the cartilaginous tissue itself, usually localized in the cartilage of the larynx, ribs and semicircles of the trachea. Enkhodroms are located in the bones formed in the body of the embryo from the cartilage. Thus, tumors are localized, first of all, in the bones of the extremities, more often in short tubular bones, i. E. In the phalanges of the fingers and feet, as well as in the bones of the wrist and tarsus.
Malignant cartilage tumors are chondrosarcomas. They are often formed from benign chondrules, but they can also occur on their own. Such spontaneously formed chondrosarcomas are more common in young people. They are found in the region of the knee joint or in the areas of fusion and growth of bones (in the area of sutures and growth zones). Benign chondromas usually degenerate into sarcomas in people older than 40 years. Such tumors grow very slowly and only after a few years they penetrate into nearby tissues.
- Severe pain and a feeling of pressure in the bones and joints.
- Limitation of mobility of the joint or limb.
- Visible swelling or build-up.
- Frequent fractures without visible causes (especially in malignant tumors).
The causes of this disease, like other tumor diseases, are not entirely clear. It was found that with inflammation (for example, with fracture or rheumatism) the probability of the appearance of a cartilaginous tumor increases.
The only effective method of treating cartilage tumors is surgery, during which the affected area and a significant part of the surrounding healthy tissue are removed. With an old disease, sometimes you have to remove the whole bone. The doctor tries to replace part of the affected bone with a transplant taken from a patient from other parts of the body. After the removal of chondrosarcoma, radiotherapy is usually used to avoid the appearance of tumor foci.
If there is pain and pressure in the bone, swelling or build-up on it, you should immediately call your doctor. The doctor will perform the necessary radiographic examinations, joint atroscopy (a surgical method of visual examination of the structures and contents of the joint cavity) and establish a diagnosis.
Course of the disease
Chondromas (calcified cartilage plates) cause pain, swelling in individual joints (knee, elbow, femur). Sometimes the calcified part of the cartilage can flake. Usually these tumors are not dangerous. However, they can sometimes degenerate into sarcomas. Possible disruption of joint function. This causes inconvenience, but does not represent a threat to life.
Some people never stop growing a certain cartilaginous tissue. More often it refers to the auricles. Cartilage tissue grows very slowly, but this growth can not be stopped, but it is not dangerous.