Functional outcomes and quality of life following surgical treatment of aneurysmal bone cysts of the pelvis in children

Eduardo N. Novais, Amy K. Zimmerman, Laura W. Lewallen, Peter S. Rose, Franklin H. Sim, Amy L. McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABCs) are a benign aggressive tumor that occurs rarely in the pelvis in the pediatric population. Pelvic ABCs may involve the triradiate cartilage and/or the acetabulum, which increases the technical difficulty of surgical treatment and has potential implications on the growth and development of the hip joint. This study examines the clinical presentation, rate of surgical complications, and recurrence rate, as well as, long-term clinical and functional outcomes of children with pelvic ABCs treated at a single institution by a single treatment modality.

Methods: Between 1988 and 2008, 142 children with histologically confirmed ABCs were treated at our institution. Seventeen (12 %) tumors were located in the pelvis. A total of 13 pelvic ABCs (5 ilium-periacetabular, 4 pubic, 3 ilium-iliac wing, and 1 ischium) were included in this study. There were eight male and five female patients with a mean age of 12.9 years (range 4.1–17.5 years) at the time of surgery. The Toronto Extremity Salvage Score (TESS), the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society 1993 (MSTS’93) score, and the Short Form Health Survey Sf-36 were obtained at a minimum 5-year follow-up in all patients (mean follow-up 11.5 years, range 5.5–19.8 years). The mean age at follow-up was 24.3 years (range 14.6–32.6 years).

Results: All patients were treated surgically with intralesional curettage extended with a high-speed burr and bone grafting. Eight patients received adjunctive therapy with phenol. Five patients had preoperative selective arterial embolization. Of the 13 patients, 1 had a local recurrence diagnosed at 6 months after surgery. The only complication in the cohort was a superficial wound infection. At the latest follow-up, all patients were free of disease. The mean TESS score was 95 and the mean MSTS’93 score was 93 %. The mean self-rated general health score, according to the SF-36 was 87 % of total points possible.

Conclusions: Extended curettage and bone grafting of pelvic ABCs in the pediatric population can yield high clinical and functional scores at an average of 11 years follow-up with a low rate of complications and recurrence.

Level of evidence: IV, case series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-288
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Children's Orthopaedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2014


  • Aneurismal bone cyst
  • Bone grafting
  • Children
  • Curettage
  • Functional outcome
  • Pelvis
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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