Lesions (abnormal structural changes) on children’s ribs are rare and may arise from several causes. Careful evaluation of the ribs can indicate if a child has a congenital bone dysplasia, an acquired metabolic disease, trauma (especially child abuse), infection, or neoplasms (tumors). When tumors do occur, a significant number are malignant, so prompt diagnosis and treatment are critical.
Among benign lesions are osteochondromas, aneurysmal bone cysts, fibrous dysplasias, enchondromas, periosteal chondromas, eosinophilic granulomas, and chondrophytes.
Malignant lesions include Ewing's sarcomas, osteogenic sarcomas, and chondrosarcomas.
The common symptom for many of these conditions is bone pain. Medical history, physical examination, and radiologic evaluation (especially CT) are critical, along with bone biopsies and, usually, surgical procedures.