Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


I'm 75-years old and have a chondroma of the index finger. It's right at the tip and involves the nail. The surgeon is suggesting removing the tip of the finger and installing a new joint with lots of reconstruction of the finger. It's not on my right hand, so I say just lop it off. Is there any problem with that idea?


A chondroma is a benign tumor made up of cartilage cells. They are usually benign but can cause painful swelling. The most common location is in the hands and feet (fingers and toes). Usually, a chondroma is removed with clear margins to prevent local recurrence. Clear margins means when viewed under the microscope, the tumor is completely surrounded by a layer of normal cells. Reconstruction of the finger and joint may be optional -- especially if the patient is only interested in the minimal amount of surgery. Let your surgeon know what are your preferences. Find out what are all your treatment options. Plan together (with your surgeon) the best approach for you. The surgeon may not know what you want. And there may be some specific reasons why the surgeon is recommending removal and the more extensive surgery for reconstruction. S. Alexander Rottgers, MD, et al. Subungual Extraosseous Chondroma in a Finger. In American Journal of Orthopedics. November 2008. Vol. 37. No. 11. pp. E 187-E190.

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