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Bone Health Conditions

A single fracture (broken bone) is common in growing children. However, multiple fractures can be the first sign of an underlying medical problem that is causing abnormal bone health. In addition, a variety of pediatric diseases may cause decreased bone strength and/or deformity, leaving children at an increased risk of fracture and disability throughout life. Our specialists in the Bone Health Program have extensive experience in caring for many of these disorders.

Children’s National Hospital: Bone Health Conditions We Treat

At Children’s National, we treat the full range of pediatric bone health conditions. Our bone health experts work with you and your family to develop the best treatment plan for your child.

Nutritional Disorders: Disorders that affect either the supply or absorption of bone-essential nutrients (particularly calcium, vitamin D, and protein) can result in low bone mineral density, fragility, and fracture. These disorders require bone health-oriented treatment. Nutritional disorders we treat include:

  • Eating Disorders (such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia)
  • Malabsorption Syndromes 
  • Nutritional Rickets/Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Athletic Energy Deficit
  • Female Athlete Triad

Endocrine Disorders: Many hormonal problems can affect how the body handles calcium and phosphorus, critical building blocks for a strong skeleton. Endocrine disorders treated by the Bone Health Program include:

  • Hypophosphatemic Rickets
  • McCune Albright Syndrome
  • Hypoparathyroidism

Skeletal Dysplasias: Skeletal dysplasias are genetic disorders which affect bone and cartilage size and growth. Skeletal dysplasias include:

Chronic Diseases: Chronic diseases can originate in many different organ systems, and include a wide range of disorders that can have a negative impact on bone and muscle strength. Disorders frequently treated in The Bone Health Program include:

Iatrogenic Causes: Iatrogenic skeletal deficiencies result from the side effects of certain drugs, such as chemotherapeutic agents and steroids, as well as radiation. Treatments and conditions that can impair bone health include:

  • Chemotherapy-induced low bone density
  • Steroid-induced osteoporosis
  • Post-transplant bone disease
  • Seizure disorders

Disuse: Lack of regular impact-loading exercise (such as walking or jumping) can pose a threat to a child’s bone health. Conditions that lead to disuse-related bone disorders include:

Overuse: Too much exercise can prevent bone from adapting to meet a child’s exercise needs, leading to sports overuse injuries.

  • Stress Fractures


  • Children who have had two or more fractures
  • Idiopathic Juvenile Osteoporosis

Contact Us

For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 202-476-2112, or meet the team.