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Fibrous Dysplasia


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NORD is very grateful to Frederick Singer, MD, Director, Endocrine/Bone Disease Program, John Wayne Cancer Institute, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Fibrous Dysplasia

  • FD
  • fibrous dysplasia of bone
  • Jaffe-Lichtenstein disease

Disorder Subdivisions

  • monostotic fibrous dysplasia
  • polyostotic fibrous dysplasia

General Discussion

Fibrous dysplasia (FD) is a rare bone disorder. Bone affected by this disorder is replaced by abnormal scar-like (fibrous) connective tissue. This abnormal fibrous tissue weakens the bone, making it abnormally fragile and prone to fracture. Pain may occur in the affected areas. As children grow, affected bone may become misshapen (dysplastic). FD may only affect one solitary bone (monostotic disease) or the disorder can be widespread, affecting multiple bones throughout the body (polyostotic disease). The severity of the disorder can vary greatly from one person to another. Any part of the skeleton can be affected, but the long bones of the legs, the bones of the face and skull (craniofacial area), and the ribs are most often affected. FD is usually diagnosed in children or young adults, but mild cases may go undiagnosed until adulthood. In some cases, FD may not require treatment; in other cases, certain medications and surgical procedures may be recommended.

FD was first described in the medical literature in 1938 by Dr. Lichtenstein and in 1942 by Drs. Lichtenstein and Jaffe. Fibrous dysplasia can occur as part of a larger disorder such as McCune-Albright syndrome (fibrous dysplasia-café au lait spots-endocrine dysfunction) or Mazabraud syndrome (fibrous dysplasia-myxomas). The term Jaffe-Lichtenstein syndrome is sometimes used synonymously with monostotic FD or to denote cases of polyostotic FD with café au lait spots, but no endocrine dysfunction. These disorders most likely represent a spectrum of disease associated with activating mutations of the GNAS1 gene.

Fibrous Dysplasia Resources

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