Musculoskeletal arteriovenous malformations

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

Clinical presentation

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


Musculoskeletal AVMs can occur within :

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