Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have monostotic fibrous dysplasia, you may not know it until it's discovered incidentally on an X-ray for another condition. If you have signs and symptoms, your doctor will perform a physical examination and order X-rays of the affected bones. On X-ray, fibrous dysplasia appears as an abnormal section of bone (lesion) that has the hazy appearance of ground glass.

In some cases, your doctor may order more tests to confirm the diagnosis or to determine the extent of the disorder. They include:

  • Imaging tests. Computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be used to determine how extensively your bones are affected.
  • Bone scan. This test uses radioactive tracers, which are injected into your body. Your bones take up the tracers and emit radiation that's captured by a special camera, which produces a picture of your skeleton. Your doctor may order a bone scan to determine whether your fibrous dysplasia is monostotic or polyostotic.
  • Bone biopsy. This test uses a hollow needle to remove a small piece of the affected bone for laboratory analysis. You'll receive local anesthetics to numb the area where the needle is inserted. In rare instances, an open biopsy — requiring general anesthesia and a surgical incision — may be necessary.
Jul. 07, 2011