Aneurysmal Bone Cyst

Also known as: ABC, bone cyst

What is an aneurysmal bone cyst?

An aneurysmal bone cyst is a benign (non-cancerous) lesion that develops within the bone, fills with blood and can grow aggressively. Though it’s referred to as a cyst, it’s actually a non-cancerous tumor. Treatment is recommended due to the damage that the cyst can produce as it grows quickly.

What causes aneurysmal bone cysts?

Recent research indicates that aneurysmal bone cysts may be caused by a chromosomal abnormality that triggers the body to grow destructive tumor tissue. It is not believed to be a hereditary condition that is passed down through families.

What are the symptoms of aneurysmal bone cysts?

As the bone cyst grows, it typically causes bone pain and fractures around the cyst. If left untreated, aneurysmal bone cysts can cause more severe fractures. They are particularly dangerous if present on the skull or spine.

How can aneurysmal bone cysts affect children?

Aneurysmal bone cysts are more common in children and adults in their early 20s than they are in older adults. When they occur in children, it’s typically during the teenage years.

What are aneurysmal bone cyst treatments?

The two primary treatments for aneurysmal bone cysts are curettage with bone grafting or a marginal or wide excision. Curettage involves scraping out the cyst and possibly the surrounding tissue, as well (extended curettage). Then bone tissue from a donor, from elsewhere in the body or bone-like material is put in its place. If the bone isn’t critical, such as a rib, the bone can be removed with a procedure known as a marginal excision. A wide excision involves removing some of the surrounding tissue, as well.

Reviewed by: Maggie Fader, MD

This page was last updated on: November 03, 2023 03:55 PM