Osteofibrous Dysplasia of the Tibia in Children: Outcome Without Resection

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The proposed association between osteofibrous dysplasia and adamantinoma has led some to advocate resection of the entire lesion, which can require major subsequent reconstruction. However, this link remains unproven and there is some support in more recent literature for a less aggressive approach. This study aims to describe our experience managing pediatric tibial osteofibrous dysplasia with such an approach and to report functional outcomes in children treated thus.


A total of 28 cases of osteofibrous dysplasia in 25 patients were managed at a referral center for pediatric bone tumors with observation in the first instance, then limited surgical intervention if required to address pain and deformity. Surgery aimed to restore stability and alignment without excising the lesion. Clinical records provided basic clinical outcome measures involving walking, recreation, orthoses and school/work participation and patients provided a Musculoskeletal Tumour Society score (MSTS) where contactable.


Mean age at presentation was 6.0 years and mean follow-up was 8.3 years. Only 8 patients required surgery. According to basic outcome measures, 13 patients were symptom-free. About 15 patients (17 cases) provided a MSTS and the mean score was 24 of 30. No transformation to adamantinoma was observed. Those who presented at a younger age and with bilateral disease more often required surgery and remained symptomatic.


A less aggressive approach to pediatric tibial osteofibrous dysplasia achieves good functional outcomes and patient satisfaction in most cases. Surgery is required in the minority of cases. Transformation to adamantinoma was not observed in this series. We recommend patient education, clinical observation and reactive intervention if required, rather than proactive resection and reconstruction.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV—case series.

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