BACKGROUND Intracortical chondroma of the metacarpal bone which could be painful is an extremely rare condition and previously only one case has been reported. Due to the similar physical features and appearance on clinical imaging, it is difficult to differentiate between intracortical chondroma and osteoid osteoma. Therefore, pathological examination is usually required to establish a definite diagnosis, which is often carried out only after tumor removal. In this study, we describe a case of intracortical chondroma which developed in the metacarpal bone and demonstrate the utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). CASE SUMMARY We present a case of a 40-year-old man with intracortical chondroma of the metacarpal bone who was strongly suspected of having a tumor, and it was confirmed using contrast-enhanced MRI and successfully treated with curettage. MRI performed before tumor removal revealed signal intensity similar to that of the nidus of an osteoid osteoma. However, no abnormal intensity was observed in the bone or soft tissues surrounding the tumor. Such abnormalities on images would indicate the presence of soft-tissue inflammation, which are characteristics of osteoid osteoma. Furthermore, contrast-enhanced imaging revealed no increased enhancement of the areas surrounding the tumor. This is the first report to describe the contrast-enhanced MRI features of intracortical chondroma. This may serve as a guide for clinicians when intracortical chondroma is suspected. CONCLUSION The contrast-enhanced MRI was useful for the differential diagnosis of intracortical chondroma.
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