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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Nov 1;38(23):2016-22. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3182a8cc05.

Fibrous dysplasia of the mobile spine: report of 8 cases and review of the literature.

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  • 1*Orthopaedic Department and †Radiology Department of Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China; and ‡Pathology Department of Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.



Eight cases of fibrous dysplasia (FD) of the mobile spine treated surgically at the same center were retrospectively reviewed.


The study focuses on the issues concerning the diagnosis of FD and the outcome of conventional surgical techniques (resection or curettage) and vertebroplasty in the treatment of spinal FD lesions.


Surgical excision or curettage is considered the standard treatment of spinal FD, whereas vertebroplasty is also performed occasionally.


Between January 2005 and October 2010, 8 consecutive patients with spinal FD underwent conventional surgery (6 cases) or combined with vertebroplasty (2 cases). Before surgery, 4 patients underwent percutaneous computed tomography-guided biopsy, whereas 3 had incorrect histopathological diagnosis. In each of the 8 cases, the final pathological diagnosis was established after their open surgery.


Pain relief was observed postoperatively in all patients. Three patients with neurological impairment became symptom-free after surgery. No cement extravasation was observed. Screw loosening and allograft resorption were observed in 1 case each. Signs of radiological improvement (filling of lytic lesions or thickening of the bone cortex surrounding the lesions) were not detected in any case.


The radiological features of spinal FD may be atypical. The rate of correct preoperative pathological diagnosis by computed tomography-guided biopsy was low for patients with suspected spinal FD. Vertebroplasty is probably a valuable therapeutic option for spinal FD with pathological fractures. Limited decompression and stability with vertebroplasty might be recommended for patients with neurological deficits.

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