Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment calcium drugs bisphosphonates questions for doctor specialist Home Care diet taking control warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Brittle Bones Underlying Cause

Bones are constantly changing. Old bone is removed by specialized bone cells, called osteoclasts, and new bone is laid down in its place by specialized cells, called osteoblasts. This process is known as bone remodeling.

A number of factors influence bone remodeling:

During childhood and adolescence, the body is producing new bone faster than it is removing old bone. As a result, the skeletal system grows and becomes stronger. This usually reaches a peak between the age of 20 and 30. With aging, bone breakdown exceeds the rate of new bone formation. At this point the bones can become weaker and more susceptible to breaking. The spine, hips and wrists are most often affected.

Causes of osteoporosis include:

Osteoporosis is uncommon in children and adolescents.

The most common causes of osteoporosis in children and adolescents include:

Continue to Brittle Bones Anatomy

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Brittle Bones References
  1. Elliot-Gibson V, Bogoch ER, Jamal SA, Beaton DE. Practice patterns in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis after a fragility fracture: a systematic review. Osteoporos Int. 2004 Oct;15(10):767-78. [15258724 ]
  2. Geusens PP. Review of guidelines for testing and treatment of osteoporosis. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2003 Sep;1(2):59-65. [16036066]
  3. Lane NE, Kelman A. A review of anabolic therapies for osteoporosis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2003;5(5):214-22. [12932280]
  4. Lin JT, Lane JM. Osteoporosis: a review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Aug;(425):126-34. [15292797]
  5. Moyad MA. Osteoporosis: a rapid review of risk factors and screening methods. Urol Oncol. 2003 Sep-Oct;21(5):375-9. [14670548]
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