Facts About Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Osteogensis Imperfecta is a genetic bone disease characterized by bones which are weaker and that break easily. There are eight types of OI, and which type the child has dictates the severity of the symptoms. Children may also may have a blue tint to the whites of their eyes and hearing loss due to weak bones in the inner ear. Children with OI generally have poor dental structure and loose joints. More severe forms of OI may include bowed legs and arms, kyphosis (hunched back) and/or scoliosis.
There are many families that have adopted a child with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, club foot, or other orthopedic differences. Please use our website to read family adoption stories, view children waiting to be adopted, and learn more about this and other medical conditions experienced by children living in institutions and orphanages.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Challenges
- Fractures may not be noticed readily. If the child appears cranky, irritable, or unable to sleep, a doctor should check for the presence of a fracture. Doctors should treat all fractures. For children with osteogenesis imperfecta, an injury does not have to occur for a bone to fracture. Normal activities like getting out of bed and climbing stairs can fracture bones.
- This condition does not affect a child's intellect and patients have normal life expectancies.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Treatment
- There is no cure for osteogenesis imperfecta. Medications are available to help strengthen bones somewhat. Infection in the bones is a concern for children with osteogenesis imperfecta, and doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat or prevent infections.
- Crutches, splints, and other ambulatory aids can help a child with osteogenesis imperfecta to walk better. Implanting metal rods can improve bone strength, and fusing the spine may prevent damage and strengthen the child?s frame. A diet high in calcium and vitamin D is important. Normal activity is encouraged as weight bearing helps to strengthen bones, but physical sports and activities that are likely to result in fractures need to be avoided.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Prognosis
The prognosis for this condition varies greatly depending on the severity of symptoms. For children with mild symptoms, life expectancy is not impacted. For children with more severe symptoms, their life expectancy may be shorter. Most people with OI however, lead very successful lives.