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Unicameral Bone Cyst

Case Detail

Anatomy: Musculoskeletal
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Neoplasia Benign
Created: over 9 years ago
Updated: over 4 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: CR
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Teenager with arm pain after minor injury.

Case Images


Unicameral bone cyst with pathologic fracture.


CR – Minimally expansile unicameral bone cyst with endosteal scalloping, non-displaced fracture and “fallen fragnent” in the inferior portion of the cyst.


A unicameral bone cyst is a relatively rare and benign skeletal lesion. It consists of a fluid-filled intramedullary cavity, lined by a thin layer of connective tissue. The lesion is often expansile with thinning of the overlying cortex. Most commonly, unicameral bone cysts are encountered in the proximal long bones; two-thirds of all cases involve the femora and humeri. Pathologic fracture is the most common complication. Virchow, Mikulicz and lastly Jaffe and Lichtenstein are credited with description of this lesion. Roentgenographic characteristics of unicameral bone cysts are shared by a number of other entities such as fibrous dysplasia, benign cortical defect, nonossifying fibroma, aneurysmal bone cyst, and enchondroma but MR can help refine the differential diagnosis.


The “Fallen Fragment Sign” in the Diagnosis of Unicameral Bone Cysts
Jack Reynolds, M.D.1969 Radiology, 92, 949-953.

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