What is fibrous dysplasia?

Also known as: FD, polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, monostotic fibrous dysplasia

Fibrous dysplasia is an uncommon bone disease frequently affecting one bone (the skull or long bones of the arms and legs), where the cells that normally form strong healthy bones produce softer weak scar-like tissue known as “fibrous tissue”. These weakened bones can break with pain, or result in misshapen bones, arthritis and other complications. It can be an isolated disease or may be associated with other abnormalities - one of which is a disorder called McCune-Albright syndrome (with dark skin spots and abnormalities of endocrine glands).

What causes fibrous dysplasia?
Fibrous dysplasia is a genetic disease caused an abnormality (mutation) in the child's genes not inherited from his/her parents.

What are the symptoms of fibrous dysplasia?
Fibrous dysplasia may cause few or no symptoms. However when symptoms are present they relate to the bone that's affected.  Most common symptoms are broken bones, pain in the bones or malformed bones that cause a limp or other complications. If the skull is affected, it can lead to sinus, hearing or vision problems.

What are fibrous dysplasia care options?
There is no cure for fibrous dysplasia, and management is mainly aimed at treating the symptoms and preventing deformities.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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