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About Sickkids
About SickKids

April 1, 2008

Researchers determine traditional treatment for simple bone cysts to be superior to newly adopted method

An international team of researchers, led by Dr. James Wright of The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids), has found that the traditional treatment of steroid injections provides superior healing for children with simple bone cysts compared with injections of bone marrow, a more recent method of treatment adopted by the orthopaedic community. This research is reported in the April 1 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Simple bone cysts are common lesions in growing children that predispose them to fractures and are sometimes painful. The purpose of the clinical trial was to compare rates of healing of simple bone cysts treated with bone marrow injections with the rates of healing of those treated with injections of methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid.

“The study shows us that clinical trials are necessary to better gage the best outcomes for patients. Assumptions about treatment cannot be made without scientific evidence,” says Dr. James Wright, the study's principal investigator, staff orthopaedic surgeon, surgeon-in chief and senior scientist at SickKids.

This study was the inaugural trial of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America Clinical Trials Network, with participating centres in the United States , India and SickKids in Toronto . Multi-centre trials can provide useful and practical answers to clinical queries. Future clinical trials will be required to compare other treatments for simple bone cysts in children and to develop new measures of cyst healing.

The multi-centre trial was coordinated by Sandra Donaldson, clinical research project manager in orthopaedic surgery at SickKids. The research was supported by the Arthur Huene Award, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America research grant, Salter Chair in Surgical Research and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Link to the study: www.ejbjs.org/cgi/content/abstract/90/4/722

For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Suite 1742, Public Affairs, First floor Atrium
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-5058
Fax: 416-813-5328