Gorham’s (GOR-amz) disease is a very rare skeletal condition of uncertain etiology, characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of distended, thin-walled vascular or lymphatic channels within the bone, which leads to resorption and replacement of bone with angiomas and/or fibrosis.

Because of the loss of the affected bone, the condition has been referred to as disappearing bone disease, vanishing bone disease, and massive osteolysis. In medical terminology, osteolysis means: bone (osteo) breaking down or destruction (lysis).

The most typical presentation is that of osteolysis of a single bone or the bones connected by a shared joint, such as the shoulder. Although the disease can attack any bone, the shoulder is one of the most commonly involved areas, along with the skull and pelvic girdle. Spontaneous fractures are common and may be the first sign of the disease. A hallmark of the disease is the lack of bone healing following fracture.

For more information about Gorham-Stout Disease: its causes, its symptoms and how the condition is treated, please visit our friends at the Lymphangiomatosis and Gorham’s Disease Alliance