There are many things in the world which are less understood, one among them in the medical world is exostosis. The reason for formation of extra bone in exostosis still remains obscure. Most of the time, it seems / remains worthless and creates nuisance with its pressure symptoms. This extra (?) bone formation cannot be even related with complementary work of nature to provide extra strength on requirement or to support. In case of fractures, union of fracture ends will be attained with new bone formation – osteophyte formation. These ostephytes formations will also be seen in all deterioration process of bone with infection or disease or strain or with improper friction, loss for supporting the weakening tissues (bone tissues), for example – osteo arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis. Here osteophytes formation occurs to support the deteriorating bones. But in case of exostosis, there won’t be any infection or friction loss or any other diseases to trigger the bone
Incidence – Even though it can occur in any age group, exostosis is most commonly seen in adolescent females and people in the fourth decade. It is also commonly noted in congenitally disabled persons.
Causes – Even though injury, deformities, mechanical stress and strain with pressure changes and change of postures or gait are claimed to be the cause, nothing has been proven.
Common sites – Exostosis can occur anywhere in the body, but it is very commonly seen in toes, fingers, jaw, long bones, heel and scalp. It can also arise inside the nasal sinus cavity, eye orbits, etc.
Types – It is often named according to the site(s) of origin.
- Subungal exostosis are named for the exostosis which is often seen in the distal end of the finger or toes under the nails. This is the commonest type. It often mimics whitlow or nail bed infection. It can also cause deformity and ulcerations.
- Buccal exostosis – exostosis arising in oral cavity is named as buccal exostosis. It can be seen both in the maxillary (upper jaw) or mandibular (lower jaw) area.
- Multiple exostosis – is named for increased or increasing number of exostosis. It is mostly seen in long bones especially the growing ends (especially in growth spurt period). Studies reveal that it has a tendency to occur as hereditary.
It can also be classified as
- Compact osteomas (ivory osteomas) – hard nodes occuring in skull
Cancellour osteomas – for slender growths occuring in growing end of long bones
- Diaphyseal aclasis – for rare inherited multiple exostosis
- Occurrence of round / oval dense bony hard protuberance on the surface of
- Slowly growing bony mass or tubercle
- Single or may be multiple in nature
- Discomfort and pain (rarely)
- Aggravation of pain and discomfort on pressure or tight fittings
- Ulcers on the spot of exostosis
When exostosis remains small, mostly there won’t be any complication at all. But as it grows and gives pressure to adjacent nerves or vessles or muscles or bones it causes complications. Complication usually varies according to the site, involved structures and pressure intensity. Anyway, there need not be fear of it transforming into cancer. If it compresses
- Nerve – it often causes neuralgia (nervous shooting pains)
- Blood vessels – causes reduced blood supply to distal organs which can cause cramps and numbness
- Muscles – it can cause cramps, fascitis (inflammation), etc.
- Bone – bone pain, restriction of movement and sometimes even fracture may result
- Other than these, exostosis can cause disfigurement and disability in severe cases.
General treatment – In general, exostosis will be kept under
Even though nobody thinks of Homeopathy for exostosis, considering it as a pure surgical disorder, Homeopathy can do wonders in cases of exostosis (in the initial stages). Since surgical excision also cannot guarantee prevention of new formation, it is better not to opt for surgery.
In Homeopathy, surgical removal of exostosis is considered the removal of effects of the disease and not the removal of cause or disease itself. Homeopathy treats the patient (not disease) by enhancing his/her immune mechanism to expel the disease as such on its own. This enhancement of immune mechanism further prevents new formation or recurrence.
Homeopathic medicines commonly used in case of exostosis are Acid flour, Anti-crud, Asafoetida, Calc carb, Calc fluor, Calc Phos, Colchicum, Hecla lava, Mezereum, Natrum Mur, Phosphorus, Radium brom, Rhus tox, Ruta, Silicea, Sulphur, Symphytum. Thuja etc. These medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a Qualified Homoeopath.