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Cureus. 2017 May 1;9(5):e1208. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1208.

Solid Variant of an Aneurysmal Bone Cyst of the Thoracic Spine.

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Department of Internal Medicine, MGM Medical College, Navi Mumbai, India.
Department of Orthopedics and Spine, Center for Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery, New Panvel, India.
Department of Microbiology, MGM Medical College, Navi Mumbai, India.


The solid variant of an aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) has been observed very rarely, especially those involving the spine. In this case report, we present a very unusual tumour of the thoracic spine which was managed by 360˚ decompression via posterior-only approach and stabilization. A 16-year-old boy presented to us with a sudden onset of weakness in both lower limbs leading to paraplegia. He also had a history of back and chest pain over the past one year. A collapse of the T5 vertebrae on plain radiograph was observed. The patient was immediately shifted to the operation theatre with an initial plan of a total en bloc spondylectomy of the T5. However, intraoperatively, histology favored a solid-ABC variant rather than a spindle cell tumour or giant cell tumour. Thus, the initial plan was revised to a 360˚ decompression without resecting the body en bloc via a posterolateral approach. After surgery, complete resolution of his sensory and motor dysfunction was achieved. His chest and back pain also resolved. The diseased vertebral body gradually healed and new bone formation was seen at 18 months postoperatively. This case report concludes that a solid variant of an ABC should be considered as a differential diagnosis for tumours involving the spine. An intraoperative frozen section procedure should be undertaken, especially during emergency situations. Early diagnosis and appropriate surgical management play an important role in the successful management of a solid variant of ABC.


abc; bone tumor; osteolytic lesion

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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