Type of disease: Rare conditions
Juvenile osteoporosis is a condition of bone demineralization characterized by pain in the back and extremities, multiple fractures, difficulty walking, and evidence of osteoporosis. Symptoms typically develop just before puberty. Osteoporosis is rare in children and adolescents. When it does occur, it is usually caused by an underlying medical disorder or by medications used to treat the disorder. This is called secondary osteoporosis. Sometimes, however, there is no identifiable cause of osteoporosis in a child. This is known as idiopathic osteoporosis. There is no established medical or surgical therapy for juvenile osteoporosis. In some cases, treatment is not necessary, as the condition resolves spontaneously. Early diagnosis may allow for preventive steps, including physical therapy, avoidance of weight-bearing activities, use of crutches and other supportive care. A well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is also important. In severe, long-lasting cases, medications such as bisphosphonates may be used. In most cases, complete recovery of bone occurs. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.