An exostosis (plural: exostoses) is the formation of new bone on the surface of a bone. Exostosis can cause chronic pain ranging from mild to debilitatingly severe, depending on where they are located and what shape they are. The overgrowth of outer ear canal bone is the body\'s way of protecting the ear drum from the frequent rush of cold water against it which commonly occurs with surfing. They develop over many years and result in infections, pain, plugging and hearing loss. When used in the phrases \"Cartilaginous exostosis\" or \"Osteocartilaginous exostosis\", it is considered synonymous with Osteochondroma. Some sources consider the terms to mean the same thing even without qualifiers, but this interpretation is not universal.

Symptoms - Exostoses

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Causes - Exostoses

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Prevention - Exostoses

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Diagnosis - Exostoses

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Prognosis - Exostoses

Scientists throughout tho world have demonstrated the genes for MHE are found on three different chromosomes. This leads to the belief that is caused by at least three different genes with one or more on each chromosomes. It is known that the genes are located on chromosome numbers 8, 11 and 19 with number 8 being the most common location found. Continuing research of the genes and how the proteins encode for them will give tremendous insight into the growth of cells. This information is important since MHE is a problem with the growth of cells. Understanding the gene and the function of its protein might eventually provide the knowledge leading to actual treatment. The gene mapping studies will serve as the basis for the testing of children at risk for MHE. At the time of this publication, the availability of such testing is limited to a research setting. However, your physician could be equipped to perform this test in the near future. Information from this test could lead to the prevention of the development of exostoses and their complications.

Treatment - Exostoses

Some people with never require any treatment. They learn to compensate for deformity or decreased range of motion so they function normally. When deformity does occur, it often happens so slowly that the patient can compensate for it well, while others may require surgery to help them. If an exostoses is painful, pressing on an important structure, cosmetically unattractive or if easily bumped, it can be surgically removed. Once removed, exostoses can reoccur (about 20 - 50% of the time), but may not regrow to a size large enough to be symptomatic. Removal itself is usually a fairly small procedure; some are removed without ever staying overnight in the hospital. If an exostoses causes a growth abnormality, like bowing, sometimes just removing the exostoses early enough will allow the bone to straighten itself out and remodel as the child grows. Some bowing is so severe that not only must the exostoses be removed, but also the bone must be straightened. This can be done by either cutting the bone, straightening it and then holding it in place while it heals or if the child is still growing by changing the rate of growth on one side of the growth plate. Currently there are several options and your doctor should be able to explain them to you. If an exostoses does become malignant and turn into a chondrosarcoma then it must be removed. A specialist in orthopedics and bone tumors would be required to help with this.

Resources - Exostoses

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