One type of noncancerous bone mass that often affects only one bone is called a simple bone cyst.

This is sometimes called a unicameral bone cyst (UCB). A simple bone cyst is actually a cavity in the middle of the bone that contains milky fluid.


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In whom are simple bone cysts more common?

In some people, the risk of developing a simple bone cyst is higher. Including:

  1. People under twenty.
  2. Young boys (girls are less likely to get it).


Characteristics of a simple bone cyst

This cyst has the following characteristics:

  1. is painless
  2.  X-rays of the bone, which are requested for other reasons,  are often discovered by chance, so the exact number of people with simple bone cysts is not known (because not all cases of this cyst can be diagnosed).
  3. A simple bone cyst does not cause pain but can weaken the surrounding bone and appear with a fracture.
  4. It is usually present in only one bone of the affected person and does not involve the other bones

This cyst can disappear with the growth and development of the child


Types of simple bone cysts

Orthopedists define two types of simple bone cysts:

Active bone cysts:

Cysts that are in the vicinity or in contact with the bone growth plate of children. These cysts grow and weaken and break the bone or they can cause skeletal problems and limb deformities by damaging the growth plate of a growing child.

Latent bone cysts:

These simple bone cysts are not in contact with or near the growth plate, and as the baby grows, they move away from the growth plate as the bone grows.


What causes simple bone cysts?

The underlying cause is still unknown, but there is a hypothesis that these cysts originated from an abnormal piece of tissue that surrounds the joint.


Which bone has a simple bone cyst?

These cysts are most commonly seen in the following organs:


And sometimes:


Treatment of simple bone cyst

An orthopedist should consider several factors to treat this cyst, including:

Small, asymptomatic cysts

They do not require special treatment and are only followed up carefully by a doctor. If they have weakened the bone during follow-up and there is a possibility of a sudden fracture with minimal force, surgery may be suggested by a physician.


Treatment of cyst fractures around the cyst

These fractures heal without surgery, and the cyst will often go away after the fracture has healed. If the fracture heals and the cyst remains, surgery is needed.


  1.  Follow up by taking X-ray serial photos at specified intervals
  2.  Most of these cysts will go away as the child grows, so if the affected child has a lot of physical activity, the doctor will prevent possible fractures by modulating his or her physical activity, Until the child grows up and the cyst disappears.


Aspiration and injection

In this method, after anesthesia, the needle enters the cyst and removes the fluid inside the cyst. This operation is called aspiration. The inside of the cyst is then filled with injectable material to prevent the cyst from recurring.

Bone curettage and graft:

The fluid inside the simple bone cyst is removed and, after clearing the cavity, fills it with bone grafts removed from the person’s own bones.


The recovery time after surgery

The recovery time after surgery depends on the size and location of the cyst. Most people return to normal life three to six months after surgery.

Twenty-five to fifty percent of simple bone cysts usually recur after surgery.

Children who undergo simple bone cyst surgery are more likely to have a recurrence, so it is important to have regular serial X-rays after surgery.