There are many bone diseases and conditions that can affect children. Since their bones are continuously growing and reshaping, they are susceptible to many types of bone diseases. Some bone diseases in children can be congenital or present at birth. Some symptoms of bone disease can cause pain and have difficulty in walking while other may not produce any symptoms at all. If a bone disease and conditions are not treated promptly, it can affect how a child’s bones will develop, can lead to multiple fractures and deformities, as well as possible motor development and permanent disability.
Rickets/Blount Disease in Children
Bone disease and conditions such as Rickets affect children who are deficient in vitamin D. Rickets is caused by poor diet or an inability to absorb vitamin D and calcium. Generally, rickets occurs when there are rapid growth periods when the body needs more calcium for bone development. Therefore, rickets soften these bones producing abnormal bone development.
Blount disease, also known as bowleggedness, is commonly found in babies and toddlers. It is a growth disorder that affects the bones of the lower leg that causes them to curve outward. Bowleggedness usually corrects itself once babies start to walk. There are two types of blount disease infantile, which affects children before the age of 4, and adolescents, which affects older children and teens. In a child, blount disease does not correct itself and only gets worse if it is left untreated.
Osteomyelitis in Children
Bone diseases and conditions such as Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone and occurs in children and adults. Bacteria or fungus usually causes it. In children, it occurs in the ends of long bones of the body, which include the thigh, arm and shinbone in children. However, it can affect anywhere in the body and if left untreated can cause permanent bone deformity. Some common symptoms include pain, swelling and redness of the skin, tiredness, pus drainage, fever, the child will often protect the area from being touched or seen, and may have unlimited use or not use the affected part at all. Adults are more likely to have chronic osteomyelitis where as children will have the acute form.
Perthes/Brittle Bone Disease in Children
Bone diiseases and conditions such as perthes disease is also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes, that affects the head of the femur, the thighbone and how it attaches the hip. There is not enough blood supply to the bone, and therefore, will cause the bone to die. This leads to a shortening of the leg, knee and joint pain, hip stiffness and limping, and constant thigh or groin pain. Perthes disease affects children of any age, but more common in young boys.
Brittle Bone Disease:
Bone diseases and conditions such as brittle bone disease is very common among children and often leads to fractures among small children. Brittle bone disease is a genetic disorder and described as the fragility of the bones due to the lack of collagen. Collagen helps develop bones in the body. Some symptoms a child might experience is that bones fracture quite easily, poor muscle tone, curvature of the spine, and whites of the eyes turning blue-gray in color.
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