Musculoskeletal arteriovenous malformations

Last revised by Yuranga Weerakkody on 29 Dec 2021

Musculoskeletal arteriovenous malformations (AVM) are typically congenital, growing with age and may not manifest until adolescence or adulthood. Spinal AVMs are discussed separately. 

Rarely they can be acquired e.g. post traumatic vascular malformation.

Clinical presentation

Patients can present with a palpable mass (with or without erythema or a thrill) and/or pain 1-3.


Musculoskeletal AVMs can occur within 2:

  • soft tissues
    • subcutaneous
    • intramuscular
    • intermuscular fascia
  • joints
    • repeated intra-articular bleeds can produce degenerative change similar to haemophilic arthropathy 3
  • bone: rare; mostly craniofacial with appendicular skeletal even more rarely involved 4

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: arteriovenous malformation of the soft tissues
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  • Case 2: post-traumatic arteriovenous malformation
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