Joint tumors
Tenosynovial chondromatosis

Author: Vijay Shankar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 September 2017, last major update July 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Tenosynovial chondromatosis

Cite this page: Shankar, V. Tenosynovial chondromatosis. website. Accessed August 15th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Tenosynovial chondromatosis is a multinodular cartilaginous proliferation that arises from tenosynovial membranes due to synovial metaplasia
  • Also called tenosynovial or bursal chondromatosis
  • M > F; ages 20 - 86 years (mean and median age are 46 years)
  • Fingers (50%), feet (20%)
  • Also wrists, ankles, palm, knee, forearm
Clinical features
  • May present as painless mass, mass with mild tenderness with pressure, loss of motion of affected area
Radiology description
  • Multiple calcifications; may have erosion of underlying bone
Radiology images

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Multiple calcifying nodules

Case reports
  • Complete excision recommended, 24 - 88% recur
Clinical images

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Dorsal first web space

Multiple rice bodies within synovial sheath

Gross description
  • Bluish white subsynovial nodules, mm to cm in size, which conglomerate into lobulated mass attached to synovial membranes
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Multinodular cartilaginous proliferation involving tenosynovium or subsynovial connective tissue
  • Cartilaginous matrix more intensely basophilic than chondroma of soft parts
  • Often minute cartilaginous nodules
  • May have mild or moderate atypia
  • Occasionally prominent mineralization
  • Rarely crystalline deposits mimic tophi (APMIS 2004;112:624)
  • Rarely malignant transformation, which resembles synovial chondrosarcoma
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Nodule surrounded by tenosynovial membrane

Differential diagnosis