Tumor-like lesions of the upper limb are more frequent than malignant neoplastic lesions
and they represent a wide and heterogeneous group of disorders. The combination of clinical
evaluation and imaging is the first pivotal step to attempt a distinction between benign and malignant
masses, since there are important implications for further management, such as the requirement
for conservative or interventional treatment. The classification of these pseudo tumoral lumps
remains arbitrary and is still a matter of debate, currently based on a conjunct clinico-radiologic approach.
In this article, we review various types of tumor-like lesions of the upper limb in terms of
imaging approach and related clinic features, proponing a descriptive classification, useful in clinical
practice to recognize these disorders, and to avoid unnecessary or potentially harmful procedures.
Keywords: Upper extremity, ganglion cysts, tumor-like lesions, differential diagnosis, bursitis, wrist joint, hand, shoulder,
magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography.
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