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A Rare Anterior Sacral Osteochondroma Presenting as Sciatica in an Adult: a Case Report and Review of the Literature

Scientific Paper

Chin KR1, Kim JM.

Interested medical professionals can read through the full paper, as published in the Spine Journal, here.


Osteochondroma is the most common primary benign bone tumor and is usually located in the metaphyses of long bones and rarely in the spine or anterior sacrum. To the best of our knowledge, en bloc excision of a solitary osteochondroma of the anterior sacrum in an adult patient has not been previously reported in a peer-reviewed journal.


The purposes of this study were to document the first report of an osteochondroma of the anterior sacrum along with the clinical course and operative management and review the literature on solitary osteochondroma of the sacrum.


The study setting is an academic institution. This is a case report and review of the literature.


The patient is an adult female.


The outcome measure is the visual analog score for pain.


A 54-year-old woman presented with 9/10 disabling low back and radicular pain in the left lower extremity. Radiologic studies showed a pedunculated mass occurring from the anterior sacrum thought to be causing nerve root compression. The patient received en bloc excision of the mass through an abdominal retroperitoneal approach. We also conducted a literature review of solitary sacral osteochondroma in peer-reviewed journals.


Histologic studies confirmed the mass to be an osteochondroma without pathologic signs of malignant transformation. The patient complained of dysesthesia in the left leg after surgery, which progressively improved completely over 8 months after the operation. At the 2-year follow-up, there was no evidence of local recurrence and she was pain free. A literature review revealed one previous case of en block resection of a solitary osteochondroma, but it involved the posterior sacrum.


Solitary osteochondroma can rarely present in the sacrum as low back pain and sciatica. In general, when osteochondroma causes pain in an adult, we should think that some structure is impinged or that it could have initiated a malignant transformation, so en bloc excision should be used to remove the tumor and histologic studies performed to assess for malignant transformation. Battered nerve root syndrome may take up to 8 months to resolve.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, Founder of philosophy and practice of The LES Society and The LESS Institute

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin is a board-certified Harvard-trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and Professor with copious business and information technology exposure. He sees a niche opportunity where medicine, business and info. tech meet – and is uniquely educated at the intersection of these three professions. He has experience as Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences & Admissions Committee Member at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Visiting Spine Surgeon & Professor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

Learn more about Dr. Chin here and connect via LinkedIn.


Less Exposure Surgery (LES) is based on a new philosophy of performing surgery, leading the charge to prove through bench and clinical outcomes research that LES treatment options are the best solutions – to lowering the cost of healthcare, improving outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction. Learn more at LESSociety.org.

The LES Society philosophy: “Tailor treatment to the individual aiding in the quickest recovery and return to a pain-free lifestyle, using LES® techniques that lessen exposure, preserve unoffending anatomy and utilize new technologies which are safe, easy to adopt and reproducible. These LES®techniques lessen blood loss, surgical time and exposure to radiation and can be safely performed in an outpatient center. Less is more.” – Kingsley R. Chin, MD


The LESS Institute is the world leader center of excellence in Less Exposure Surgery. Our safe, effective outpatient treatments help patients recover quickly, avoid expensive hospital stays and return home to their family the same day. Watch our patient stories, follow us on Facebook and visit TheLESSInstitute.com to learn more.


The above study utilized LES Technology from SpineFrontier – leading provider of LES Technologies and instruments – offering surgeons and patients superior technology and services.



Chin KR1, Kim JM.

Author information

  1. The Spine Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. [email protected]

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