Non-ossifying fibromas and fibrous cortical defects around the knee - an epidemiologic survey in a Japanese pediatric population

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022 Apr 22;23(1):378. doi: 10.1186/s12891-022-05330-9.


Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of non-ossifying fibroma (NOF) and fibrous cortical defect (FCD) in a Japanese pediatric population and the association between the lesion size and pain.

Methods: This retrospective study, conducted across 10 Japanese institutions, included patients aged 5-15 years who had undergone standard antero-posterior and lateral view radiography of the knee. Using these radiographs, we diagnosed the lesion as a NOF or FCD. Patient demographics, including age, sex, the size and location of the NOF, and chief complaint were recorded. The lesion size was determined using radiographs. Student's t-test was used to compare the associations between the lesion size and spontaneous pain.

Results: A total of 6222 subjects (3567 boys and 2455 girls) were included in this study. The number of NOF and FCD cases was 143 and 437, respectively, and the prevalence of NOF and FCD was 2.3% and 7.0%, respectively. The average size of NOF and FCD was 22.1 mm (range: 4-102 mm) and 13.2 mm (range: 5-21 mm), respectively. Three patients (2.1%) had pathological fractures due to NOF. Of the 140 NOFs and 437 FCDs, we obtained complaints from the medical records of 126 and 393 patients, respectively. The number of patients with spontaneous pain or other problems with NOF was 68 (54%) and 58 (46%), respectively, that of patients with FCD was 195 (50%) and 198 (50%) patients, respectively. The lesion size was not associated with spontaneous pain in either lesion (p = 0.67 and p = 0.27, respectively).

Conclusion: The prevalence of NOF and FCD around the knee was lower than that reported in previous studies. The prevalence of NOF increased and that of FCD decreased with advancing age. In both lesions, the lesion size may not be associated with pain.

Keywords: Fibrous Cortical Defect; Non-ossifying Fibroma; Pain; Prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / complications
  • Bone Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fibroma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibroma* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pain / complications
  • Retrospective Studies