|Osteoporosis in children: Overview||948.000000000000||Osteoporosis in children: Overview||Osteoporosis in children: Overview||O||English||Metabolic||Child (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)||Body||Bones||Conditions and diseases||Caregivers
Adult (19+)||NA||2013-12-17T05:00:00Z||9.70000000000000||48.0000000000000||641.000000000000||Health (A-Z) - Conditions||Health A-Z||<p>Learn about osteoporosis and how it can be diagnosed and treated.</p>||<h2>What is osteoporosis?</h2><p>Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when bones are weaker or less dense than they should be. Osteoporosis can occur in babies, children or adults. It is most common when older adults lose their bone mass.</p><p>Weaker bones are generally more likely to break or fracture. In mild osteoporosis, the bones may only break with a strong force or injury. For more severe osteoporosis, bones may break with even a gentle knock or sudden movement.</p><p>Some children are born with a bone disease called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). This disease is a form of osteoporosis that reduces the amount or quality of the collagen that
<a href="/Article?contentid=1938&language=English">makes up bones</a>. If your child has osteogenesis imperfecta, you may need to
<a href="/Article?contentid=1189&language=English">manage it differently</a>.</p>
<img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_osteoporosis_EN.png" alt="Bone without osteoporosis and bone with osteoporosis" />
</figure><br>||<h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Osteoporosis occurs when bones are weaker or less dense than they should be. It is most common in older adults, but it can also affect babies and children.</li><li>Bones affected by osteoporosis break more easily, sometimes with only a gentle knock or sudden movement.</li>
<li>Osteoporosis can be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D, lack of weight-bearing exercise, some medications and, sometimes, other medical conditions that affect how bones develop.</li><li>Osteoporosis can be diagnosed with X-rays, bone mineral density scans or blood tests. It can be treated with diet, exercise and, sometimes, medications.</li></ul>||<h2>What causes osteoporosis?</h2>
<p>Osteoporosis can have a number of causes:</p>
<li>too little <a href="/Article?contentid=1970&language=English">calcium, vitamin D or other nutrients</a> to build bones</li>
<li>too little <a href="/Article?contentid=1969&language=English">exercise or activity</a> to strengthen bones</li>
<li>underlying medical conditions that change the collagen in bones (for example osteogenesis imperfecta)<br></li>
<li>medications that slow down the rate at which new bone is created.</li>
</ul>||<h2>How is osteoporosis diagnosed?</h2><p>Osteoporosis can be diagnosed in different ways, for example through:</p><ul><li>X-rays</li><li>bone mineral density scans</li><li>blood tests</li></ul><h3>X-ray</h3><p>An X-ray shows how well the bones are growing and if they are the right shape. If a child is likely to need many X-rays in their lifetime, for example if they are being monitored for osteoporosis, they will have a special type of X-ray that delivers less radiation.</p><h3>Bone mineral density scan</h3>
<span class="asset-image-title">Bone mineral density scan</span>
<img alt="Person lying on their back for a bone mineral density scan" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_bone_mineral_densitometry_machine_EN.jpg" />
<p>Your child's doctor may ask your child to have a
<a href="/Article?contentid=1296&language=English">bone mineral density scan</a>. This involves lying down while a machine scans your child's body and calculates how dense their bones are. This can help your child's doctor understand if your child's bones are more or less dense than they should be for boys and girls of the same age.</p><h3>Blood tests</h3><p>Blood tests can show if your child has enough bone-building nutrients and hormones to make strong bones. They can also indicate how quickly your child's bones are turning over.</p>||<h2>What types of treatment help with osteoporosis?</h2>
<p>Osteoporosis can be treated through diet and exercise. Some medications, called bisphosphonates, can also help by making the bones stronger. These medications are sometimes known by their brand names <a href="/Article?contentid=209&language=English">Pamidronate</a> or Zoledronate.</p>
<h3>Testing if medications will work</h3>
<p>Not everyone with osteoporosis will benefit from medications. To find out if medication might help your child, your child's doctor will first need to do a bone biopsy to diagnose your child's type of osteoporosis.</p>
<p>The bone biopsy involves taking out a very tiny piece of bone and studying it under a microscope. Your child will have a <a href="/Article?contentid=1261&language=English">general anaesthetic</a> or "sleep medicine" before the bone biopsy to make sure they do not feel any pain. If you have any questions about the bone biopsy, talk to your doctor or nurse.</p>||<h2>Resources</h2><p>National Institute of Health (2013).
<a href="https://www.bones.nih.gov/">Publications on bone health, osteoporosis and osteogenesis imperfecta</a>.</p><p>College of Family Physicians of Canada (2011).
<a href="https://www.cfpc.ca/ProjectAssets/Templates/Resource.aspx?id=3523">Osteoporosis information for patients</a>.<br></p><p>International Osteoporosis Foundation (2013).
<a href="https://www.iofbonehealth.org/content-type-semantic-meta-tags/bone-health-brochures">Bone health brochures</a>.<br></p><p>Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation (2013).
<a href="http://www.oif.org/site/DocServer/med_guide.pdf?docID=4501">Osteogenesis Imperfecta: A Guide for Medical Professionals, Individuals and Families affected by OI</a>.<br></p>||<img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/osteoporosis.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />||https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/osteoporosis.jpg||Osteoporosis in children: Overview||False|