6 hidden signs of brittle bone disease in children
Brittle bone disease, medically known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), is a rare genetic disorder that affects one in about 20,000 people. Marked by fragile bones prone to fractures and deformities, the condition often presents a unique set of challenges, and identifying it early in children is crucial for their well-being. While some symptoms of OI are obvious, others are hidden, making early diagnosis a complex task. Here are 6 signs that should prompt one to seek immediate medical attention.
6 signs to look for
The sclera is the whites of the eyes. In brittle bone disease, the sclera may appear to be discolored, with a bluish, purple, or gray tint. This is due to the thinness of the sclera, which allows the underlying blood vessels to show through.
Children with brittle bone disease often experience dental problems, including brittle, discolored, or misaligned teeth and a high susceptibility to cavities. While dental changes are common in children, if a child repeatedly presents with dental issues, it may be a hidden sign of brittle bone disease.
Parents should be vigilant if their child exhibits signs of hearing difficulty. OI can also lead to hearing problems, which might not be immediately associated with bone fragility. The bones in the ear can be affected, resulting in conductive hearing loss.
In more severe cases of OI, children may experience recurrent respiratory problems. The fragile rib cage, which may appear to be shaped like a barrel due to OI, can make it challenging for children to breathe properly.
This is a type of condition where one’s hip joint looks deformed because the top part of the leg bone has bent down. This deformity can be a sign of OI.
Another less conspicuous sign of OI is a short stature. Children with the condition may not reach their expected height due to the impact of the condition on their bone growth. They may also have weak muscles or a joint that seems to either stay bent or straight permanently.