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Fibrous dysplasia

Fibrous dysplasia is a bone disease that destroys and replaces normal bone with fibrous bone tissue. One or more bones can be affected.


Fibrous dysplasia occurs in childhood, usually between ages 3 - 15. The condition does not run in families (not hereditary), and the cause is unknown.


  • Bone pain
  • Bone sores (lesions)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Endocrine gland problems
  • Fractures or bone deformities (rare)
  • Unusual skin color (pigmentation)

The bone lesions may stop when the child reaches puberty.

Exams and Tests

The doctor will perform a physical examination. X-rays of bones are taken.


There is no cure for fibrous dysplasia. Bone fractures or deformities are treated as appropriate. The patient is screened for endocrine disorders as needed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms that occur.

Possible Complications

  • Cushing's disease
  • Gigantism or acromegaly
  • Heart rhythm disturbance
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Rickets

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if your child has symptoms of this condition, such as repeated bone fractures and unexplained bone deformity.

Specialists in orthopedics, endocrinology, and genetics may be involved in your child's diagnosis and care.


There is no known way to prevent fibrous dysplasia. Treatment aims to prevent complications, such as recurrent bone fractures, to help make the condition less severe.

Alternative Names

Inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia; Idiopathic fibrous hyperplasia


Heck RS Jr. Benign bone tumors and nonneoplastic conditions simulating bone tumors. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds.Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics

Arndt CAS. Benign tumors and tumor-like processes of bone. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds.Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics

Update Date 12/4/2013

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