Multiple osteochondromas in the archaeological record: a global review

Eileen M. Murphy, Catriona McKenzie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Multiple osteochondromas is an inherited autosomal dominant condition of enchondral bone growth. The paper undertakes the first synthesis study of the 16 known cases of the condition that have been identified in the international palaeopathological record. It also includes information derived from two newly discovered cases of the disease in two adult male individuals recovered from the Medieval cemetery at Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland. The formation of multiple osteochondromas is the best known characteristic of the disease but it also involves the development of a suite of orthopaedic deformities. These deformities, which include disproportionate short stature, inequality of bone length, forearm deformities, tibiofibular diastasis, coxa valga of the hip and valgus deformity of the knee and ankle, are discussed in relation to the archaeological cases. Numerous synonyms for the disease have been used within the various publications produced by palaeopathologists, and this can generate confusion among readers. As such, the paper recommends that in future palaeopathologists should follow the guidance of the World Health Organization and use the term multiple osteochondromas when discussing the disease.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2255-2264
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Archaeology

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