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Indian J Nucl Med. 2011 Jan;26(1):36-9. doi: 10.4103/0972-3919.84612.

Ribbing disease: Uncommon cause of a common symptom.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Ribbing disease is a rare form of sclerosing dysplasia characterized by benign endosteal and periosteal bone growth confined to the diaphyses of the long bones, usually the tibiae and femora. It occurs after puberty and is more commonly seen in women. The most common presenting symptom is pain that is usually self-limited; however, progression is known. The etiology and optimal treatment for the disease are as yet undefined. We present here the case of a 31-year-old woman with clinical, radiological and bone scan manifestations of Ribbing disease corroborated by bone biopsy. Radiographs demonstrated cortical thickening of the diaphyses of both tibiae. 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate bone scan revealed intense irregular uptake in diaphyseal region of both tibiae. Magnetic resonance imaging showed cortical thickening with bone marrow edema in bilateral tibial diaphysis with minimal adjacent soft tissue edema. Bone biopsy revealed predominantly dense lamellar bone with irregular sized and spaced haversian systems. Serum and urine markers of bone metabolism were within normal limits. The patient was treated with analgesics, and had partial relief from pain. Medullary rimming is the next treatment option in case pain progresses. This report emphasizes the role of bone scan in the diagnosis of this rare condition.


Bone scan; dysplasia; leg pain; ribbing disease

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