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Aneurysmal bone cysts are benign bone tumors that usually present in childhood and early adulthood. They usually manifest as expansile osteolytic lesions with a varying potential to be locally aggressive. Since their first description in 1942, a variety of treatment methods has been proposed. Traditionally, these tumors were treated with open surgery. Either intralesional surgical procedures or en bloc excisions have been described. Furthermore, a variety of chemical or physical adjuvants has been utilized in order to reduce the risk for local recurrence after excision. Currently, there is a shift to more minimally invasive procedures in order to avoid the complications of open surgical excision. Good results have been reported during percutaneous surgery, or the use of embolization. Recently, sclerotherapy has emerged as a promising treatment, showing effective consolidation of the lesions and functional results that appear to be superior to the ones of open surgery. Lastly, non-invasive treatment, such as pharmaceutical intervention with denosumab or bisphosphonates has been reported to be effective in the management of the disease. Radiotherapy has also been shown to confer good local control, either alone or in conjunction to other treatment modalities, but is associated with serious adverse effects. Here, we review the current literature on the methods of treatment of aneurysmal bone cysts. The indication for each type of treatment along reported outcome of the intervention, as well as potential complications are systematically presented. Our review aims to increase awareness of the different treatment modalities and facilitate decision-making regarding each individual patient.
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