Ollier’s disease

Also known as: Enchondromatosis


Ollier’s disease is a condition where several enchondromas exist in the bone. These may affect a single digit, part of a hand or foot, a whole limb, one side of the body or the whole body. An enchondroma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumour consisting of cartilage (which is a flexible connective tissue). The main complications relate to of the presence of the cartilage tissue within the bone resulting in deformity and/or shortening of the affected bone. Fractures can also occur. There may also be problems with curving of the spine (scoliosis). Ollier’s disease can be diagnosed based on clinical features and X-rays. Malignancy (becoming cancerous) of enchondromas can occur, but it is extremely rare. The bone deformity can be corrected by osteotomy (where the bone is cut to shorten, lengthen, or change its alignment) and the shortening can be addressed by leg lengthening. Pain in enchondromas should be a warning sign to parents to take the child for investigation. Although classified as a genetic condition, it is not inherited. Hence affected people cannot pass it on to their children, neither are their brothers or sisters at risk.

This overview is intended to be a basic description of the condition. It is not intended to replace specialist medical advice. We advise that you discuss your child’s case with a qualified medical professional who will be able to give you more detailed information.


Medical text approved November 2012 by Dr Daniel Porter, Contact Medical Advisory Panel.

Is there support?

Olliers Global Support

Email: arcaan@hotmail.com

Olliers Global Support was established in 1999. It offers information and support, and the opportunity to contact other families affected by Olliers disease and Maffucci syndrome. The Organisation is in contact with orthopaedic and plastic surgeons in the UK and abroad. It has two members-only Facebook support groups: Olliers & Maffucci Global Support and parents, and Olliers Owls and Maffucci Meerkats for children and young people. 

Group details last updated April 2019.

Back to A-Z Conditions