Bone Cysts


Find Clinics offering Cyst Removal in London & UK »

A bone cyst is a benign fluid-filled hole which develops inside a bone. They affect mostly young children and young adults (especially boys, but not exclusively so) but they are often innocuous and harmless, and certainly not cancerous. The biggest danger a bone cyst could pose is that it causes the bone to weaken should the cyst become enlarged. This would make it more vulnerable and is hence more likely to break. The cause behind bone cysts is currently not known.

Types of Bone cysts

Bone cyst are either identified as unicameral bone cysts, which are largely benign, as well as common, or aneurysmal bone cysts, which can spread through the bone, necessitating further treatment. Unicameral cysts can develop anywhere in the body, but are most frequently discovered on the spine, the lower leg, or the pelvis. In contrast, aneurysmal bone cysts are extremely rare, and while they are non-cancerous and comparatively more threatening than unicameral bone cyst, as they can unsettle the normal function of bones should they grow. Should either cyst cause problems, you will experience symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, lumps in the affected area, and a dull-feeling kind of pain.

Treatment for Bone cysts

The majority of bone cysts should heal without the need for treatment, however sometimes treatment is advised in order to prevent risk of any fracturing of bones. Treatments, such as the injection of steroids into the bone cyst, are common should treatment be recommended.

Types of treatment

In most cases, regular check-ups to ensure a more acute cyst does not develop are advised. If the cyst shows no sign of healing then there are a number of surgical options, all performed under general anaesthetic. Steroid injection (usually with a steroid named methylprednisolone acetate) to boost healing is one, as is bone marrow injection which is used to similar effect.  In these cases, the fluid will need to be drained out of the cyst before the steroid is injected into it. Furthermore, repeated injections over the course of the following months may be required to facilitate the healing process. Alternatively, there is cutterage and bone grafting, where your surgeon cuts into the bone to access the cyst; the fluid inside the cyst will be drained and the lining of the cyst will be scraped out with a curette. The area that remains will then be filled with chips of bone or from donated bone tissue. While your doctor will usually recommend one treatment ahead of the others depending on your cyst, in some cases it has been known that all the above techniques may need to be performed.


« Bartholin’s Cyst Sebaceous Cysts »