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How to treat unicameral bone cyst in a child without surgery?


my 9 years old son was by chance diagnosed having unicameral bone cyst in femur /bottom part of the bone/. The cyst is rather large. The leg has not broken so far, the kid was active and did have regular physical activity.
Could you, please, suggest TCM treatment? Herbs, accupuncture, nutrition, excercises to firm the bone?

Thank you


In general both growth and development as well as the bones themselves are governed by the kidney system, specifically the Jing (essence). Check out our page about it, and you could try using acupressure on some of the mentioned points, particularly KD 3, GB 39, UB 11 and the huatouo jiaji at T1.

In terms of exercise you could have him do light resistance training such as squats or leg press but it really does need to be light - i.e. use resistance bands, not free weights. Jumping rope could potentially help - something that stimulates a mild percussive force on the femur.


Hi Stephen,

thank you for your reply. Mia


Hi, I went through the Kidney meridian defficiency patterns. It seems to me like Yang defficiency when I take into consideration his overall health problems.
He is pale, with very low appetite, shows aversion to cold and he hurt his knee about a month ago. The knee is still swollen despite he took 10 sessions of accupuncture. He was often sick with a lot of mucus running from his nose. The problem with mucus came back again this november.
He is tall, slim and does not show signs of poor mental development.

On the other hand he was never sporty person and he can get tired easily. He did not have all his baby teeth, some just did not grow. His permanent teeth do not grow in a nice row, not enough place in the jaw.

I am quite confused regarding to the kidney defficiency pattern. Could you please advise?


What are you basing the kidney deficiency pattern on? Paleness and low appetite could easily be spleen deficiency which also effects the muscle and development. What does his tongue and pulse indicate? What other symptoms does he have? Does he sleep excessively? The spleen could be more related to the mucus as well as weak digestion leads to dampness.

I would use moxibustion around the area of injury more than acupuncture (both would be fine). And keep in mind, not everything is related at some deep level. These bone cysts are common and the causes are poorly understood, they don’t always indicate an imbalance (or at least not everything has to fit under one diagnosis in Chinese Medicine).


It is virtually impossible to help you to come to an accurate diagnosis online. It might help to recognize that most people show a combination of various patterns, i.e. you could have concurrent kidney jing deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, spleen qi/yang deficiency, and damp/phlegm accumulation. Any developmental issues are related to the kidney jing, so for example not all the baby teeth coming in certainly suggests at least some trouble there. Cold is usually a yang deficiency sign, but not always and it could relate to kidney, spleen, or heart yang for example. Mucus could come from exterior cold, a spleen or lung yang deficiency, poor diet, or some combination of all those factors.

If he had 10 visits of acupuncture with no improvement then whomever you saw likely isn’t able to either properly identify the patterns your son is presenting with or doesn’t know how to treat them.

My best suggestion is to find another acupuncturist in your area. They should be better able to both diagnose and explain your son’s condition.

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