Fibrous dysplasia (FD) is a skeletal disorder in which the bone-forming cells fail to mature and produce fibrous tissue, or connective tissue. Skull bones, facial bones, thigh bones, shinbone, ribs, and upper arm bone are most commonly affected with FD.
If only one bone is affected it is termed as ‘monostotic fibrous dysplasia’. If multiple bones are affected then, it is termed as ‘polyostotic fibrous dysplasia’. FD is a genetic disorder. There is no exact cure for FD, and the treatment includes surgery and symptomatic relief.
The main cause for developing FD is a gene mutation. It affects the cells that produce the bone tissue. These mutations usually occur after conception, in the early phases of fetal development.
The disorder is inherited from the parents.
Your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and perform a routine physical examination. If there are any signs of FD, your doctor would further order for confirmatory tests.
Imaging tests: Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (MRI) are ordered. This helps in determining the extent of bones affected.
Bone scan: This test helps in determining the damaged parts of the bone. For this radioactive tracers are injected into your blood stream. The damaged parts of the bones are shown brightly on the scan due to the absorption of the radioactive tracer.
Biopsy: Biopsy helps in the confirmation of the disease. For a biopsy, a small tissue is removed and analyzed.
Fibrous dysplasia radiology is also performed to get a clear picture of the bone deformities.
The most common fibrous dysplasia symptoms may include:
In severe cases fibrous dysplasia may cause complications such as:
Fractures: If once your bones get affected they tend to become weak. These weakened bones are more fragile and can easily undergo fractures.
Hearing loss or visual problems: There may be several nerves related to eyes and ears that are surrounded by the affected bone. In the case of severe deformity of the facial bones, you may have problems related to ear and eye sight. One such problem is glaucoma, which damages the optic nerve and causes permanent loss of vision.
Arthritis: You may be a victim of arthritis if the leg and pelvic bones are deformed. Osteoid osteoma is another complication related to the bones. It is a non-cancerous bone tumor that develops in the long bones of the body.
Cancer: It is rare, but there are chances that your affected bone may turn cancerous. You are more susceptible if you have had a radiation therapy earlier.
Your doctor might schedule you for surgery to remove the lesions or to fix bone fractures. Surgery is recommended if you have:
All these are a few fibrous dysplasia treatments which are performed to treat the disease and help the person lead a pain-free and a happy life.