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Melorheostosis is a medical developmental disorder and mesenchymal dysplasia in which the bony cortex widens and becomes hyperdense in a sclerotomal distribution. The condition begins in childhood and is characterized by thickening of the bones. Pain is a frequent symptom and the bone can have the appearance of dripping candle wax.[1]


May be due to a randomly occurring gene mutation during fetal development. [2]


Melorheostosis is a mesenchymal dysplasia manifesting as regions of dripping wax appearance or flowing candle wax appearance.[3] It is thought to be caused by a mutation of the LEMD3 gene. The disorder can be detected by radiograph due to thickening of bony cortex resembling "dripping candle wax". It is included on the spectrum of developmental bone dysplasias including pycnodysostosis and osteopoikilosis.[4] The disorder tends to be unilateral and monostotic (i.e. affecting a single bone), with only one limb typically involved. Cases with involvement of multiple limbs, ribs, and bones in the spine have also been reported. There are no reported cases of involvement of skull or facial bones. Melorheostosis can be associated with pain, physical deformity, skin and circulation problems, contractures, and functional limitation. It is also associated with a benign inner ear dysplasia known as osteosclerosis.[5]

It is not known if LEMD3 mutations can cause isolated melorheostosis in the absence of Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome.[6]


The disorder is progressive, with the ultimate severity of symptoms often depending on age of onset. In severe cases amputation has been performed when conservative measures such as physical therapy and regional anesthetics have been ineffective.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of Melorheostosis". Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Melorheostosis | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program". Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  3. ^ Salam, Hani. "Melorheostosis - Radiology Reference Article -". Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  4. ^ Azouz ME, Greenspan A. "Melorheostosis -" (PDF).
  5. ^ Subhas N, Sundaram M, Bauer TW, Seitz WH, Recht MP (2008). "Glenoid labrum ossification and mechanical restriction of joint motion: extraosseous manifestations of melorheostosis". Skeletal Radiol. 37 (2): 177–81. doi:10.1007/s00256-007-0405-4. PMID 18030463.
  6. ^ Zhang Y, Castori M, Ferranti G, Paradisi M, Wordsworth BP (June 2009). "Novel and recurrent germline LEMD3 mutations causing Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome and osteopoikilosis but not isolated melorheostosis". Clin. Genet. 75 (6): 556–61. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0004.2009.01177.x. PMID 19438932.
  7. ^ Graham LE, Parke RC (2005). "Melorheostosis--an unusual cause of amputation". Prosthet Orthot Int. 29 (1): 83–6. doi:10.1080/17461550500066808. PMID 16180380.

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