The purpose of this study was to compare the outcome of percutaneous curettage with intralesional injection of methylprednisolone and bone marrow for unicameral bone cysts (UBCs).

This was a retrospective review of 46 children and adolescents with UBC treated with autologous bone marrow injection, methylprednisolone acetate injection or percutaneous curettage alone. Inclusion criteria were a radiological diagnosis of UBC and at least 24 months follow-up from the last procedure. Healing was determined using Neer/Cole 4-grades rating scale.

The 3 treatment groups were comparable with regard to age, sex, location of the cyst, and the number of procedures undertaken. At 2 years follow-up, the proportion of patients with satisfactory healing (Neer/Cole grades I and II) was greatest among those who underwent percutaneous curettage (70%) compared with bone marrow injection (21%) and methylprednisolone acetate injection (41%) (P = 0.03). We found no association between healing and age (P = 0.80) nor between healing and sex (P = 0.61).

These results suggest that mechanical disruption of the cyst membrane may be helpful in healing of cysts and that this technique may be preferred to simple intralesional injections.

Level III.

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