Aneurysmal bone cyst of the spine: 31 cases and the importance of the surgical approach

J Pediatr Orthop B. 1998 Oct;7(4):286-92. doi: 10.1097/01202412-199810000-00006.


Thirty-one cases of aneurysmal bone cyst of the spine with a minimum follow-up of 1 year as registered by the Netherlands Committee for Bone Tumors are reported. Aneurysmal bone cyst is a benign, sometimes expansive and destructive, lesion frequently occurring between the ages of 10 and 20 years. Located in the vertebral column, it undermines the structural integrity of the spine, and neurologic complications can occur. In all cases the posterior elements were involved, with extension into the vertebral body occurring in 22 cases. Extension to adjacent vertebra occurred 5 times, but the intervertebral disc appeared to be left intact. Twenty-nine of 31 cases were treated surgically. Posterior approaches provided insufficient access to lesions also located to the vertebral body and were associated with a higher recurrence rate (5 of 18 cases) than anterior approaches (1 of 11 cases). Of 10 cases in which the surgical removal was incomplete, 4 healed and 6 had a local recurrence. Selective embolization was used twice, and its application is discussed. On the basis of this material and a review of the literature, treatment by intralesional curettage combined by adjuvant therapy such as preoperative embolization is advised.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Cysts, Aneurysmal / diagnosis*
  • Bone Cysts, Aneurysmal / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Curettage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laminectomy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Recurrence
  • Registries
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Diseases / therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome