Aneurysmal Bone Cyst Diagnosis and Treatment

An Aneurysmal Bone Cyst is a benign, blood filled lesion in the bone that tends to expand or grow. While it is referred to a cyst, it is a true benign bone tumor surrounded by a thin wall of bone. Aneurysmal bone cysts can occur in any bone, but are most commonly found around the knee, pelvis or spine. 

Aneurysmal bone cysts consist of blood filled spaces of variable size that are separated by a connective tissue containing trabeculae of bone or osteoid tissue and osteoclast giant cells. Approximately 5% of aneurysmal bone cysts are solid tumors rather than being hollow.

It may occur spontaneously, or be a secondary reaction to another bony growth elsewhere in the body. It occurs more frequently in females than male and there is a 10-15 percent recurrence rate with treatment. 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • The feeling of warmth over the affected area
  • Decreased range of motion, weakness or stiffness
  • Deformity in the area of growth


  • X-Ray 
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination of the painful damaged bone
  • EOS imaging 
  • Needle Biopsy 
  • Angiography


  • Intralesional Curettage – it involves scraping out the bone to completely remove the tumor and all cyst lining
  • Intraoperative Adjuvants – such as cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), phenol (a chemical) or cauterization (burning the tumor bed) which are used to remove microscopic tumor cells 
  • Bone Grafting – a surgical procedure to replace missing bone with artificial graft material or cadaver bone

Recovery period depends on the size and location of the aneurysmal bone cyst that was removed. Some can have as quickly as a day of downtime. 

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