Background: Although a simple bone cyst carries the risk of pathological fractures, it rarely causes severe deformity. Here we report a case of severe femoral deformity after multiple pathological fractures due to simple bone cysts, and consider the reason for the progression of malunion despite multiple previous treatments. Finally, we propose a treatment option for malunion correction. Case presentation: A 9-year, 7-month-old Japanese girl was referred to our facility with obvious deformity of her right femur, caused by multiple simple bone cyst-related pathological fractures. The deformity included bowing of approximately 90° and an internal rotation of 60° in the middle third of the femoral shaft. To correct this deformity, we excised the lesion, thus shortening the femur, then corrected the alignment and applied an Ilizarov fixator to extend the bone. At present, 3 years after surgery, the deformity has not recurred and our patient is living without any limitations in daily activities or regular exercise. Conclusions: When a long bone is in a prolonged state of deformation, the deformity not only progresses as the bone grows, but the soft tissues remain unbalanced and treatment becomes increasingly difficult. To prevent increasing bone deformity and fragility, the deformity should be corrected as quickly as possible using intramedullary nailing or other fixation techniques. We believe that our shortening-distraction method is effective for the treatment of severe deformity with unbalanced soft tissues.
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