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Bone tumors and bone cysts

  • (Benign) Bone tumors and cysts

    Finding out that your teen or child has a bone tumor or cyst can cause a lot of anxiety for everyone in the family. You’ll have concerns about your child’s treatment, recovery and long-term health. It may comfort you to know that Children’s Hospital Boston is a world leader in pediatric orthopedics, and we specialize in innovative, family-centered care that supports you at every step on your child’s journey to health.

    Your child’s long-term health after treatment for a bone tumor or cyst is very good. Once treated, most benign bone tumors do not re-grow or show up in other places in the body.  Some tumors can recur or persist despite good treatment, though, and while your child could need multiple operations to eventually be tumor-free, it helps to remember that these are benign tumors, and with timely treatment they won’t spread.

    At Children’s, our extensive research into children’s bone problems means that we can provide your child with the most innovative care available. The overwhelming majority of children treated for bone tumors and cysts at Children’s have interventions—including minimally invasive procedures—that enable their bones to grow and function normally for walking, playing and growing.

    Below is a comprehensive list of links for benign bone tumors and cysts. Most of the conditions on this list are links to in-depth, disease-specific information that’s found elsewhere on our website.

    Bone-forming tumors

    osteoid osteoma


    Cartilage-forming tumors (chondromas)


    periosteal chondroma


    chondromyxoid fibroma

    Fibrous lesions

    fibrous dysplasia

    non-ossifying fibroma (NOF)

    osteofibrous dysplasia (OFD)

    Cystic tumors

    simple (unicameral) bone cyst

    aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC)

    Other tumors

    Langerhans cell histiocytosis

    giant cell tumor

    How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches bone tumors and cysts

    The experts in our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program are dedicated to expertly and compassionately caring for children and teens with bone tumors and cysts. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that your child receives a treatment plan personalized to his or her exact needs—as well as supportive care before, during and after his or her treatment.

    For your child’s care, we bring together an unsurpassed array of experts, including:

    • pediatric orthopedic and general surgeons who are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in removing bone and soft tissue tumors
    • pediatric experts as needed from every medical subspecialty—including pathology, radiology, physical therapy and bracing/casting
    • experienced pediatric nurses
    • Child Life specialists, psychologists, social workers and resource specialists

    The experts in our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program are known for innovative treatments and a research-driven approach. In addition to a wide variety of clinical trials, Children’s also conducts extensive lab research to identify new treatments and improve therapies.

    Children’s is home to the world’s most extensive pediatric research enterprise, and we partner with elite health care and biotech organizations around the globe. But as specialists in family-centered care, our doctors never forget that your child is precious, and not just a patient.

    Children’s Center for Families

    Visit The Center for Families to learn about:

    • getting to Children’s
    • accommodations
    • navigating the hospital experience
    • resources that are available for your family

    We can also help you connect with extensive resources to help you and your family through this stressful time, including:


     If you come from far away, we can help
    As an international bone and soft tissue tumor center, Boston Children’s cares for young patients from all over the world. Our International Center assists families residing outside the United States: We facilitate the medical review of patient records; coordinate appointment scheduling; and help families with customs and immigration, transportation, hotel and housing accommodations.
  • In depth text

  • Research & Innovation

    For more than 100 years, the orthopedic surgeons and researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have played a vital role in advancing the field of musculoskeletal research and we’ve pioneered new treatment approaches for many conditions.

    Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Research
    The main objective of our research program is to improve the understanding of bone and soft tissue cancers and develop new ways to treat children with these conditions. We are actively pursuing our own research initiatives, as well as participating in those directed by the Children’s Oncology Group, an international research collaboration.

    Translational research. Children’s is a world leader in opening new avenues of "translational research"—bringing laboratory advances to the bedside and doctor's office as quickly as possible. All of our senior medical staff members of the Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program participate in clinical research activities. Our program director, Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD, is also the co-director of our new Clinical and Translational Investigation Program, which aims to dramatically improve translational research in pediatric hematology and oncology.

    The Children’s Oncology Group
    Dana-Farber Boston Children's Hospital Cancer Center is the New England Phase I Center of the Children's Oncology Group. If your child has a progressive or recurrent bone or soft tissue tumor, he may be eligible for a number of experimental therapies available through these groups, or through one of our independent clinical investigators.

    The Children's Oncology Group is a consortium of cancer treatment centers across the United States, Canada, and other countries, that conduct studies of Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft tissue sarcomas. Our participation in the Children’s Oncology Group gives children with bone and soft tissue tumors unparalleled access to the newest clinical trials.

    In addition to a wide variety of clinical trials, Children’s also conducts extensive laboratory research to identify new treatments and improve therapies for bone and soft tissue tumors.

    Children speak about what it’s like to be a medical research subject

    View a video of a day in the life of Children’s Clinical and Translational Study Unit, through the eyes of children who are “giving back” to science.


    Antibiotic allergies
    Children's is a world leader in opening new avenues of "translational” research, bringing the laboratory’s advances to the bedside and doctor's office—as quickly as possible. All of the senior medical staff members of our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program participate in clinical research activities.




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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO