Osteochondroma below kneecap on left leg seems to be getting larger.

Patient

Q: Ok, so I have osteochondroma in my left leg. It's below my knee cap, and a little to the right. I'm 13, and I first noticed this towards the beginning of the year. At first, it wasn't very big at all, and I only noticed it because there was a lump on my leg. I wasn't experiencing any unusual pain there, and I didn't really think much of it. I told my parents, and my mom took me to the local doctor. It wasn't like we were at a hospital or anything, so there weren't any x-rays taken. The doctor said that it was probably just a mass of blood under my skin from hurting my leg somehow, but I hadn't hurt my leg around that time at all. She said to hold off for a week, and that if it got bigger, if I experienced a lot of pain there, or if it just didn't go away, then I should get an x-ray done. So I did. The doctors there said that it was just osteochondroma, and that it wasn't a big deal. It was small, and I wasn't experiencing any pain, so they told me that it was nothing to worry about. She said that I wouldn't have any need to get surgery because it was small and didn't hurt, and said that the only real reason that I'd want to get surgery is if it became unsightly. For a while, I hardly thought anything of it, but just recently (within the past few weeks) it's seemed to catch my attention again. It's not that it's been hurting, but it just seems, and I am positive that it is, bigger. At first, I figured that it was just my imagination, having had researched it about a week before I noticed the size difference. The reason that I was researching it is because I knew that the suffix '-oma' mean a sign of tumors or any other abnormal growths. That was when I first realized that it was a tumor, which the doctor never mentioned to us. I thought nothing of it, really, because I knew that it was benign, and that the doctor told me not to worry about it. But about a week later, I realized that it seemed a little bigger. At first, I figured that it was just my mind playing tricks on me, having realized that my osteochondroma was actually a tumor just a week before, plus, I hadn't been paying much attention to it, so I thought that it was still the same size and that I just hadn't looked at it for a while. But I now know that it is indeed bigger. There still isn't any abnormal pain there, but I am beginning to get a little concerned. The size has changed, and I believe that it's safe to say that it's changed a lot. So recently, I began researching it once again, but not for definitions this time. I began looking through different threads on different websites that people have put up about the subject. I read through a lot of different stories from different people about osteochondroma that they, or someone they knew, has had. Many of these posts said that they got it removed, and there were also some where they said that it wasn't removed. In the ones where it wasn't removed, some said that the tumor got larger, and that they began feeling some, if not a lot, of pain in the areas where they had the osteochondroma. I also read some posts where people said that they now have permanent limps because of their osteochondroma, which in my case is unacceptable.

My reasons for not wanting to accept the possibility that I might have a permanent limp are practically endless. My most important reasons have to do with the future that I am determined to have. I am determined to be a police officer when I am older, which means that I cannot have a permanent limp. My second choice for a job is a firehouse paramedic, which also requires that I am physically able to do the job correctly, so I can't have a limp with that job either. My next career choice is a firefighter. I have not, and do not want to, considered other options for my future careers. I know it might sound silly to be so sure of what I want when I'm older considering the fact that I'm only 13, but I know that these choices will stick with me. The only other career I'd want is a doctor, but that's my fourth choice. I would be heartbroken if I heard that I can't become a police officer, and even more heartbroken if I couldn't become a firehouse paramedic or firefighter either.

And that's the main reason I'm asking. I'm not someone who is going to become paranoid over this. I just need to know what the best decision would be in my case. Should I just ignore it and wait to see what happens? Maybe it stops growing, and maybe I don't develop any unusual pain where I have the osteochondroma, so maybe I will still be able to have the jobs that I want and I won't develop some sort of limp or physical incapability. Or, maybe I get surgery, and maybe I don't develop a limp or anything from that, so maybe I can end up having the career that I so badly strive for when I'm older. But maybe I get a limp from that, as I've read that someone did. Maybe surgery isn't the best option, and maybe doing nothing about it isn't the best option?

I'm coming to this website for help on finding out what is best for me to do. I'm no doctor, even though I do want some sort of medical training when I'm older, whether it be becoming a paramedic, becoming a surgeon, or just knowing what to do in emergency situations. The point of the matter is that I'd really appreciate if someone gave me advice. Do I see a doctor about it? Do I get an x-ray done, and possibly after that surgery? Or do I just ignore it? Thanks, and please do help me out.

Symptoms:  Growth of osteochondroma
Doctor

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