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Unusual localization and presentation of osteoid osteoma mimicking juvenile spondyloarthritis: a case report.

BACKGROUND: Osteoid osteoma is a painful benign skeletal tumour of unknown aetiology. Most often it occurs in the long bones of extremities and responds well to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. However, unusual localization and atypical presentation of this tumour might present a diagnostic challenge, especially if symptoms mimic that indicative of juvenile spondyloarthritis.

CASE PRESENTATION: A misdiagnosed ten-and-a-half-year-old girl with osteoid osteoma involving the distal phalanx of a little finger is presented. Her initial symptoms were pain and swelling of the little finger resembling dactylitis, while various imaging modalities showed signs of tenosynovitis, indicating a possible development of juvenile spondyloarthritis. Several trials of different non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs gave no satisfactory results and ultrasound guided triamcinolone-hexacetonide injection provided only a short relief. Finally, almost three years after initial presentation, persistent clinical symptoms warranted repeated imaging that raised suspicion of an osteoid osteoma. Directed treatment with surgical intervention led to almost immediate and complete resolution of her symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Osteoid osteoma should be suspected in case of a tender swelling of a digit in children and adolescents, regardless of initial imaging findings and clinical presentation. Early diagnosis and treatment of this benign condition can have a substantial impact on quality of life of patients and their families and protect them from many unnecessary diagnostic procedures and treatment.

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