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World J Surg Oncol. 2013 May 23;11:109. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-11-109.

A comparison of cyst wall curettage and en bloc excision in the treatment of aneurysmal bone cysts.

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  • 1Clinic of Orthopaedic and Traumatology, Polish Mother's Memorial Hospital Research Institute, Lodz 93-338, Poland.



The recurrence rate after aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) treatment is quite high despite its benign nature. In ABC therapy, curettage is the treatment of choice; en bloc excision results in a lower recurrence rate, but more extensive reconstructive surgery is needed with associated morbidity. The aim of the present study was to compare the outcomes of the two treatment options.


A retrospective analysis was performed on 26 patients treated for ABCs: 16 by curettage and 10 by en bloc excision. Each lesion was classified according to Enneking and patients were followed up for a mean time of 9.2 years. On follow-up, radiological examination and functional assessment (range of motion, muscle strength) were performed. Recurrence was defined as the presence of an osteolytic lesion, especially one with a tendency to grow.


On follow-up, the following symptoms were more prevalent in the en bloc excision group compared to the curettage group: pain (en bloc 20% versus curettage 6.25%), limb length differences (en bloc 20% versus curettage 12.5%), reduced range of motion (en bloc 20% versus curettage 6.25%) and muscle strength impairment (en bloc 50% versus curettage 31.2%); however, the differences were not statistically significant (P >0.05). In the curettage group, two cases of postoperative complications and two cases of recurrence were seen, while in the en bloc excision group one case of complications was noted.


Curettage is a standard procedure in ABC management. En bloc excision is another option, albeit more technically demanding, that may be considered in recurrent lesions with extensive bone destruction or for cysts in an expendable location.

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