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​Chondroma Tumors

What is Chondroma?

Chondromas are extremely rare, slow-growing tumors that arise from the cartilaginous portions of bones. In the cranial region, this includes the bones of the skull base and paranasal sinuses.

These benign (noncancerous) tumors are composed of mature cartilage.

As they grow, they may destroy bone or cause an overgrowth of bone. They also may compress the brain, but will not invade it.

Rarely, these tumors progress to chondrosarcomas, a cancerous form of chondromas.

Symptoms of chondromas may include visual disturbances.

At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for chondromas of the skull base and paranasal sinuses is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA).

This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:

  • No incisions to heal
  • No disfigurement
  • Faster recovery time

Diagnosing Chondroma Tumors

To help make the diagnosis of chondroma, your doctor will ask you about any symptoms that you are experiencing.

Because of the slow-growing nature of this tumor, it may be present for some time before symptoms develop.

Symptoms of chondroma tumors

Chondroma symptoms usually are related to compression of the cranial nerves.

The most common symptoms are visual disturbances or problems.

Imaging tests for diagnosing chondroma tumors

Chondroma tumors have a unique appearance and can be identified on imaging tests such as:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans

Chondroma Treatment

Surgical removal is the primary treatment for chondromas. 

Minimally invasive surgery

Chondromas of the skull base and paranasal sinuses may be approached directly using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA).

This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive treatment approach allows surgeons to access the tumor through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision. Surgeons then remove the chondroma through the nose and nasal cavities.

EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.


Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA)
Pituitary Tumor Removal Using the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) at UPMC