The primary tool for diagnosis of fibrous dysplasia is an X-ray. While bone appears solid in an X-ray, a fibrous dysplasia lesion has a relative distinct appearance often described as "ground glass." The condition may be diagnosed, therefore, even in a person with no symptoms who is getting an X-ray for other reasons.
An X-ray can also help your doctor determine how much of the bone is affected and whether there is any deformity in the bone.
Additional tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis or rule out other disorders:
- Imaging tests. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging can produce cross-sectional or 3-D images of bone. These tools can help your doctor better characterize the quality of bone or a fracture associated with fibrous dysplasia.
- Bone scan. A bone scan is a nuclear imaging test. A small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into your bloodstream and taken up by damaged portions of bone. When your body is scanned with a specialized camera, the images can help a doctor identify multiple fibrous dysplasia lesions.
- Biopsy. This test uses a hollow needle to remove a small piece of the affected bone for microscopic analysis. The structure and arrangement of cells can confirm a fibrous dysplasia diagnosis.
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- Fibrous dysplasia. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00083. Accessed May 13, 2017.
- Hakim DN, et al. Benign tumours of the bone: A review. Journal of Bone Oncology. 2015;4:37.
- Czerniak B. Fibrous dysplasia and related lesions. In: Dorfman and Czerniak's Bone Tumors. Philadelpia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 12, 2017.
- Tis JE. Benign bone tumors in children and adolescents. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 12, 2017.
- Fibrous dysplasia overview. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Additional_Bone_Topics/fibrous_dysplasia.asp. Accesssed May 12, 2017.