How is Fibrous Dysplasia Diagnosed?


Your doctor can confirm a diagnosis of fibrous dysplasia with an X-ray. The X-ray may reveal a fibrous dysplasia lesion that looks similar to ground glass. Your doctor will be able to see how far the tissue of the lesion has expanded, and if there’s any resulting curvature or deformity of the bone. 

Additional imaging tests or other procedures may be required to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other disorders, including: 

  • Additional imaging tests - Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan can help better assess a fracture or quality of the bone affected by fibrous dysplasia
  • Biopsy - Using a hollow needle, a small sample of the affected bone is removed and analyzed under a microscope
  • Bone scan - To look for lesions throughout the skeleton, a tiny amount of radioactive dye (radiotracer) is injected into the bloodstream intravenously. The tracer is picked up by damaged portions of bone. A doctor can then identify multiple fibrous dysplasia lesions on the scan. 
  • Laboratory tests - Urine and blood samples can reveal elevated levels of certain amino acids and enzymes associated with fibrous dysplasia. However, these abnormalities are not always found, and their presence can be linked to other conditions.

How is Fibrous Dysplasia Treated?


If your fibrous dysplasia is mild with little to no symptoms, your risk of a bone fracture or deformity is low. Your doctor may require periodic X-rays to monitor the condition. With more severe cases, there are certain medications, and non-surgical and surgical options your physician may recommend.


Your doctor may prescribe bisphosphonates, an osteoporosis medication that can prevent bone loss and fractures. There is some evidence that bisphosphonates can help strengthen bones and alleviate pain. 


In some cases, wearing a supportive brace may help ease pain and prevent fractures in bones weakened by fibrous dysplasia. However, bracing will not stop the progression of any bone deformities. 


Although fibrous dysplasia is incurable, certain surgeries can be recommended to help with the following:

  • Repairing a bone fracture
  • Preventing bone fractures
  • Correcting a bone disfigurement
  • Correcting a difference in limb length
  • Relieving nerve pressure, particularly if there are lesions in the facial bones or skull

Surgery for fibrous dysplasia may involve:

  • Inserting rods, screws, or metal plates to stabilize the bones
  • Shaping or “shaving” the bone to promote regrowth
  • Curettage, in which the abnormal tissue is scraped out of the bone
  • Bone graft, in which after curettage, a bone from a donor (or synthetic bone) may be inserted in the cavity to stabilize the bone
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Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Fibrous Dysplasia Treatment

If you or your child are showing symptoms of fibrous dysplasia, we can deliver expert diagnosis and treatment options. Whether your case is severe or mild, our exceptional team of doctors, surgeons, and nurses are here for you at every step to provide compassionate care for a chronic condition.

For a professional medical evaluation, contact NewYork-Presbyterian today.