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The Epidemiology of Benign Proliferative Processes of the Skeletal System in Children.

A suspicion of a proliferative bone lesion in a child seems to be a major diagnostic problem for clinicians. There are no diagnostic and treatment algorithms described in the literature and no reliable cohort epidemiological data. Our study was conducted among 289 paediatric patients (0-18 years old) with an initial diagnosis of a bone tumour or tumour-like lesion. The study comprised a retrospective epidemiological analysis, an assessment of the concordance of the initial diagnoses with the histopathological diagnoses and an analysis of the specific locations of the various bone lesions. The results obtained have made it possible to formulate the following conclusions. (1) The most common proliferative bone lesion in children is osteochondroma; also common are fibrous dysplasia, non-ossifying fibromas and bone cysts. (2) Verifying the initial diagnosis by means of biopsy is essential. (3) Osteochondromas are typically located in the metaphyses of long bones, fibrous dysplasia in the femur and skull, cyst-like lesions in the proximal humerus and non-osteochondral fibromas exclusively in the lower limbs. What could improve the quality of treatment for children with primary proliferative bone diseases is the establishment of centres of paediatric orthopaedic oncology skilled in early diagnosis and prompt management.

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