Fibrous dysplasia is a very rare disorder affecting bone development. It’s caused by a gene mutation at conception, but it is not hereditary. Individuals with this condition develop fibrous tissue in place of normal bone, which affects structural integrity and strength and could lead to bone fracture and deformity. While the condition can appear in any part of the body, most cases affect the skull or long bones of the arms or legs.
This challenging medical condition typically doesn’t generate any symptoms and is often discovered in x-rays conducted for an unrelated condition. However, recognizing and diagnosing the condition is best handled by an orthopedic specialist, like Dr. Daniel C. Allison at his practice in Los Angeles. Most practitioners are not as experienced as Dr. Allison in treating this highly unique bone disorder, which requires advanced surgical skills needed to restore damaged bone while preserving the surrounding tissue.
Symptoms of Fibrous Dysplasia
Most people with fibrous dysplasia don’t have any symptoms and often the disorder is diagnosed when an X-ray is taken for an unrelated medical reason.
However, this bone development disease typically compromises musculoskeletal structures by weakening bones, which can provoke a range of symptoms from mild to severe, including:
- Bone pain
- Bone deformities
- Nerve entrapment
The disorder can also affect quality of life in the following ways:
- Interrupting sleep
- Limiting weight-bearing activities
- Impaired movement Persistent pain
Patients with fibrous dysplasia who consult with their doctors are referred to an experienced orthopedic specialist like Dr. Allison who is best qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. Dr. Allison will order more tests to confirm the diagnosis and ascertain the extent of the disorder.
Diagnostics which are routinely performed include:
- Biopsy – test bone density and content
- Bone scan – identifies bone damage
- CT Scan or MRI – assesses extent of bone damage
Dr. Allison is thorough with his assessments. Fibrous dysplasia is a rare condition which not only affects complex musculoskeletal structures, it can also affect appearance, and Dr. Allison is sensitive to the personal needs of his patients who could also require some restructuring of physical features.
Recognizing Related Risks
There can also be some risks related to fibrous dysplasia which only a talented orthopedic diagnostician like Dr. Allison would know. The disorder can affect complex and highly sensitive areas of the body including the skull and pelvic region which require sophisticated knowledge and treatment. Additionally, damage could result in a secondary medical condition such as arthritis and require simultaneous care.
When examining a patient to assess the extent of fibrous dysplasia, Dr. Allison will check for any associated conditions including:
- Bone deformity – bending of bone
- Arthritis – deformed leg and pelvic bones may cause arthritis to form in joints
- Vision and hearing loss – deformed facial bones can impair vision and hearing
- Cancer – rare complication usually appearing in patients with history of radiation therapy
If Dr. Allison suspects the presence of an additional medical irregularity, he will recommend additional tests and diagnostics to identify any related issues.
Treatment for Fibrous Dysplasia
After a complete examination, medical history, and diagnostic tests, Dr. Allison can determine the best course of treatment for relief from symptoms and pain.
Depending on the scope and severity of the dysplasia, surgery could be recommended to:
- Repair a fracture
- Correct deformity
- Remove bone lesion
- Restore limb length
- Relieve pressure the on nerve/s
Surgery may involve replacing impairments with grafted bone or bone tissue. Metal plates, screws or rods could next be implanted to stabilize the area. As with any surgical procedures, there are risks including infection, blood clots, and bleeding; however, Dr. Allison is among the best in his field and recognized as a leader in preventive medicine.