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Osteogenesis Imperfecti Brittle Bones

International Awareness Day for Osteogenesis Imperfecti (Brittle Bones)- May 06

Osteogenesis Imperfecti Brittle Bones is a genetic bone disorder causing fractures in early childhood. Bones are living and growing tissues. The main function of bones is to resist mechanical forces and fractures. Approximately 60% of the weight of bones is composed of minerals mainly calcium and phosphate. The rest is a protein called collagen and it is very essential for the strength of bones.

What causes  Osteogenesis Imperfecti Brittle Bones OI:

Abnormality in the production of collagen causes OI due to which children are born with defective connective tissue or without the ability to produce it. Despite the fact that sufficient calcium resides in bones, a genetic abnormality in collagen formation can produce fragile bones!!! In fact it is the optimal combination of calcium and collagen which makes bones strong.

How to know:

Brittle bones are not easy to diagnose at home. So for proper and early diagnosis of this disease it is very important to meet your doctor as soon as you observe the appearance of any of the following symptoms:

  • Bones vulnerable to fracture easily.
  • Short stature
  • Loss of hearing
  • Whites of the eyes get bluish
  • Fragile teeth
  • Weak muscles
  • Constipation
  • High Pitched voice
  • Vulnerable to bruise easily
  • Abnormally excessive sweating

Treatment of  Osteogenesis Imperfecti Brittle Bones:

Unfortunately there is no particular treatment or medication of this disease. Yet doctors suggest techniques to prevent further bone damage and fractures. Following are some useful tips for OI patients:

  • Regular weight bearing exercises to enhance muscle strength
  • Calcium enriched diet
  • Vitamin Supplements
  • Healthy Life-style
  • Quit smoking as it diminishes the bone up to 5%

“Rodding” is a surgical procedure to strengthen long bones by inserting metal rods along their length. Growth hormone treatment is another method which is successful for some patients.

Treating your lily flowers:

If there was a previous history of OI in either mother’s or father’s family, you must be very cautious regarding your child. Unluckily if a doctor tells you that your child is suffering from OI, be patient!! Your child needs your help and support, so keep your muscles strong!! You need to be very careful with your child. While travelling, bathing, clothing and handling, special care and attention is required so that no bone is damaged.

  “When a child has OI, it’s important to use a multidisciplinary approach that involves a care team of the different specialists the child may need. This includes orthopedists, geneticists, endocrinologists and others as needed.” — Samantha Spencer, MD, orthopedic surgeon