The incidence of osteochondroma is rare and only 2% of such tumors are found in the spine area. When they are found in the vertebral column, less than 1% of all osteochondromas and few tumors occur in the thoracic vertebrae. An osteochondroma arising from the transverse process of the vertebra is even rarer, especially following from the thoracic transverse process. Here we report a giant solitary osteochondroma arising from the thoracic transverse process of T8 vertebra and involving the corresponding transverse process and rib.
A 28-year-old man presented with a progressive thoracic node, and neuroradiological evaluation of the spine showed a giant mass lesion involving the transverse process of T8 vertebra and concomitant corresponding facet joint and rib on the left side. At surgery, a firm and cartilaginous tumor originating from the transverse process was radically excised and surgical curettage of the lesion was performed.
It is concluded that accurate and prompt diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion followed by surgical treatment to prevent severe morbidity in cases of primary spinal column tumors. The histological examination of this patient revealed the lesion was osteochondroma.
The best choice of treatment for spinal osteochondromas is surgical excision or curettage and spinal stabilization, if necessary.