The coexistence of deformity of the nail bed and subungual exostosis (SE) is a frequent finding in podiatric practice in the fourth and fifth decades of life. However, it has been described by other specialists as being an uncommon osteocartilaginous tumor most prevalent during the second and third decades of life. This study attempts to determine the causes of this discrepancy.
Two authors independently conducted a systematic bibliographic review in multiple databases, podiatry sources and others, and key words were chosen to achieve a broad search strategy. Studies reporting on epidemiology and treatment of SE lesions in lower extremities in ten or more patients were selected. Initially, 197 articles were identified through database screening, with 23 meeting all inclusion and exclusion criteria. Seven articles with the ages of all of the patients were included in the analysis of age data. A comparison was then made between the diagnostic criteria for the selected 23 articles.
Model results reveal that, although there are some significant differences between individual studies, the main factor tested (patient's age) was clearly significant (F1,5.2 = 78.12, P < .001), showing that studies coming from the podiatry speciality were conducted on individuals with a mean age of 37 years higher than in studies from other specialties. Clinical and radiologic characteristics and treatment described in the podiatry literature also contrast with those in other specialties.
The SE described by podiatrists, in accordance with the parameters of true exostosis, is different from Dupuytren's SE and should be considered as a different pathologic entity. The authors are working on its histologic identification.