Osteopoikilosis is a benign genetic condition characterized by white spots which can be identified on the bone in x-rays and other medical imaging studies. No treatment is required for this condition unless it causes pain, in which case a person is usually prescribed painkillers. Sometimes, the condition is associated with other genetic conditions which may be less benign, and a doctor may recommend testing and screening if there is a concern that there is more going on with the patient than just the osteopoikilosis.
This condition is one of a family of conditions known as sclerosing bone dysplasias. In people with osteopoikilosis, small disc shaped to ovoid white lesions show up on the bones, especially on the ends of the long bones. The area around the pelvis is a classic location for the lesions. Lesions are often identified before the age of twenty, and may be an incidental finding encountered while working up a patient for another medical problem. If someone has no reason to be x-rayed while young, osteopoikilosis may not be identified until later in life.
Some sclerosing bone dysplasias are dangerous, or are associated with other genetic issues. For this reason, when lesions which are suspected to be osteopoikilosis are identified, the doctor may recommend further workup to confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, the condition requires no special attention or treatment, although patients may want to make a note of it when they are x-rayed or tested later in life so that other doctors are aware of the situation.
People with osteopoikilosis do not appear to be at greater risk of fractures and other problems with the bones, although the condition is a bone disorder. In patients with a cluster of genetic conditions include this sclerosing bone dysplasia, these conditions may cause medical issues which can vary in character, depending on the conditions involved. People with a family history of osteopoikilosis should not necessarily need to be worried about passing it on to their children because it is a benign genetic variation, although they may want to consider genetic testing to check for signs of conditions which are sometimes associated with osteopoikilosis.
This condition is relatively rare, and can be an unusual radiological finding. If a radiologist has not seen very many cases, she or he may recommend that the films be reviewed by a practitioner with more experience to confirm the diagnosis. Patients may also be referred to a bone specialist for additional screening and counseling.