University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Orthopedic Surgery


Dr. Elyse Watkins



Introduction: Melorheostosis is a rare chronic bone disorder of unknown etiology most commonly affecting the peripheral skeleton. Its onset is insidious with the typical presentation being pain and restricted range of motion. Radiographic findings consist of unicortical endosteal thickening of the long bones classically described as melting wax dripping down a candle.

Treatment is varied and aimed at symptom control, but in severe cases, surgical consideration is warranted.

Case Report: The case presented is of a 55-year-old female previously diagnosed with melorheostosis primarily affecting her right lower extremity, resulting in pain and deformity with restricted ankle and knee mobility. Radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were consistent with extensive intraarticular melorheostosis of the right knee. Prior treatments were focused on symptom management but provided only transient relief prompting surgical evaluation and consideration.

Conclusion: Melorheostosis is a rare benign bone disorder with varying degrees of morbidity. Symptoms may range from minimal pain and joint stiffness to significant deformity and restricted mobility affecting daily activities. When noninvasive treatment options provide minimal symptom relief, surgical intervention should be a consideration, though there is limited evidence for the long-term outcomes.


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