Fibrous Dysplasia: What You Need to Know

Fibrous dysplasia is a rare bone disorder that causes abnormal fibrous tissue to develop in place of normal bone. This can lead to bones that are weak and brittle, and more likely to fracture. Fibrous dysplasia can affect any bone in the body, but it most commonly affects the skull, ribs, and pelvis.


The symptoms of fibrous dysplasia can vary depending on the bones that are affected and the severity of the condition. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. In other cases, people with fibrous dysplasia may experience:

  • Bone pain
  • Deformities of the bones
  • Fractures
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue


The exact cause of fibrous dysplasia is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a mutation in a gene that controls bone development. The mutation is present in all cells of the body, but it only affects bone cells.


There is no cure for fibrous dysplasia, but there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and prevent complications. Treatment options include:

  • Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be used to relieve pain. In some cases, stronger prescription pain relievers may be needed.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to repair fractures, remove abnormal bone tissue, or straighten deformed bones.
  • Bisphosphonate medications: Bisphosphonate medications can help to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.


The prognosis for people with fibrous dysplasia varies depending on the severity of the condition. Some people with fibrous dysplasia have few or no symptoms and live normal lives. Others with more severe forms of the condition may experience significant disability.


There is no known way to prevent fibrous dysplasia.

If you have any concerns about fibrous dysplasia, please talk to your doctor.

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