Radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of osteoid osteoma: Results and complications

Jeffrey Earhart, David Wellman, James Donaldson, Julie Chesterton, Erik King, Joseph A. Janicki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for treatment of osteoid osteoma is effective and avoids the potential complications of open surgical resection. This study evaluates the efficacy of RFA at a single tertiary-care pediatric hospital and highlights an important complication. Materials and methods: The medical records of 21 cases of RFA in 21 children between 2004 and 2010 were reviewed retrospectively for demographic data, lesion site, access point and technique for ablation, clinical outcome and complications. Results: Clinical follow-up was available for 17/21 children (81%) at an average of 17.0 months (range 0.5-86.1 months). No persistence or recurrence of pre-procedural pain was noted. Two children (9.5%) had a complication, including a burn to the local skin and muscle requiring local wound care, and a late subtrochanteric femur fracture treated successfully with open reduction internal fixation. Conclusion: RFA is a safe and effective alternative to surgical resection of the osteoid osteoma nidus. When accessing the proximal femur, the risk of late post-procedural fracture must be considered and discussed with the family. An understanding of biomechanical principles in the proximal femur might provide an effective strategy for limiting this risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-819
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Complications
  • Fracture
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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