Pediatric osteoporosis is a rare condition that affects the bones and increases a child’s risk of bone fractures.
What is Pediatric Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis occurs when there is not enough bone formation during growth or excessive bone loss with age. Pediatric osteoporosis is rare. In children, osteoporosis is usually caused by another medical condition — this is called secondary osteoporosis. If there is no known cause of the condition, it is called idiopathic osteoporosis.
Pediatric osteoporosis can cause problems as your child grows. During childhood, bone mass normally increases. Osteoporosis slows the building of bone mass, leaving the child at risk for fractures and future bone loss.
What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Osteoporosis?
- Difficulty walking
- Frequent fractures
- Hip pain
- Kyphosis (curved upper spine)
- Lower back pain
- Sunken chest
What are the causes of Pediatric Osteoporosis?
There is no known cause of idiopathic osteoporosis. However, there are many potential causes of secondary osteoarthritis.
Secondary osteoarthritis may be caused by an existing medical condition, such as:
- Cushing’s syndrome (too much cortisol hormone)
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid)
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney disease
- Malabsorption problems (when the body does not take in the vitamins and nutrients it needs)
- Osteogenesis imperfecta (fragile bone disorder)
Secondary osteoarthritis may also be caused by taking certain medications such as:
- Anticonvulsants (used to treat seizures)
- Corticosteroids (used to treat allergies, asthma or arthritis)
- Medicines to treat cancer
In some cases, secondary osteoarthritis may be due to an outside factor, such as:
- Excessive exercising, for example as part of an eating disorder
- Lack of physical movement, such as being confined to bed or a wheelchair
- Lack of vitamin D and calcium in a child’s diet
- Using alcohol, drugs or smoking cigarettes (teenagers)