When you have a child that seems to be more fragile than other children, you may wonder if there is anything wrong with or going on with your child that is affecting their health. After you take them to the child health clinic, you may come to find out that your child suffers from a condition known as osteogenesis imperfecta. Once you have the diagnosis, you may still be confused about what the diagnosis means and what you can do to keep your child healthy. Get to know more about osteogenesis imperfecta and how you can help your child deal with this lifelong condition.
What Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
Osteogenesis imperfecta is a type of inherited disorder that affects the bones of the body making them fragile or weak. There are four different types of this inherited disorder. Type II is the most severe and often results in the death of the child within the first year of life.
On the other hand, the other three types of osteogenesis imperfecta do not necessarily affect the lifespan of the affected person so long as they take proper care of their health and follow certain health and safety guidelines.
What Are The Early Symptoms Of Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
Osteogenesis imperfecta makes the bones of the body susceptible to breaks and fractures. As such, the primary symptom is frequent fractures, most of which occur without any noticeable cause (i.e. no severe falls or traumas).
Other symptoms of this disorder can include having a bluish tint to the eyes, physical deformity from improper bone growth and healing, easy bruising, shorter than average stature, and an enlarged head.
How Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta Treated?
Once your child is diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, the first thing to keep in mind is that it is a permanent and lifelong condition. The key is to manage symptoms and to try to build bone mass and strength as much as is safely possible.
Physical and occupational therapy can help your child develop strength, balance, and flexibility that will help to prevent breaks and fractures through daily activities. The exercises usually include a great deal of swimming and other water exercises so that strength can be built safely without the pressure placed on the skeletal system that can cause injuries. A healthy diet with calcium, vitamin D, and other bone-strengthening supplements can also help to maximize bone density and mass.
Many people with osteogenesis imperfecta also use mobility devices and braces to protect their body. Surgery for rodding is also an option that can help to stabilize the major bones in the body and prevent serious injuries.
Now that you know more about osteogenesis imperfecta and the treatment options available, you can better take care of your child and ensure that they get the best possible support and care going forward. Visit a child health clinic in your area if you have concerns.