Genetic, rheumatologic, immunologic, metabolic, and renal studies of a father and son with idiopathic multicentric osteolysis are reported. The disorder appeared through mutation. The father developed symptoms as an infant, his son at age 4 years and 9 months. Both have micrognathia and hypotelorism and were exceptionally tall during the symptomatic phase of their disease. Biopsies of the son's wrist showed normal synovium, encroachment on cartilage by fibrocellular tissue, and both osteoclastic resorption and repair of affected bone. Hydroxyproline in his urine was increased. No immunologic, renal, or other metabolic abnormalities were identified.