Brittle Bone Syndrome

A baby of about four weeks who was crying incessantly was found to have a broken leg after an x-ray was done. His parents were accused of child abuse because the broken leg was through a non-accident incident. Simply put, his parents were suspected of shaking the baby so hard that his leg bone got broken in two. Further tests concluded that the baby was hurt because of physical abuse. About two weeks later, his father coughed while carrying the baby. The baby stretched out his arm in surprise and his father heard it crack.

X-rays once again confirmed that the baby broke his arm this time. To cut it short, the parents were fortunately proven innocent after a couple more tests were done. Unfortunately though, the baby was diagnosed with brittle bone syndrome or Osteogenesis Imperfecta. WHAT IS OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA? Osteogenesis Imperfecta or brittle bone syndrome is a genetic disease that results in the abnormalities of protein in the bones causing them to become easily breakable. In some cases, this disease causes the child to be stillborn or to die soon after birth. A parent with this disease has a 50% chance of passing it on to his child.

The levels of the effect of this disease to the baby differ in such a way that although genetically, the baby has the disease, his bones don't break as easily as the other babies with the same disease. X-rays and tests don't usually detect this disease at first glance. A more thorough examination of the baby is required to find out if he has been afflicted with this debilitating illness. Observation of the child is also crucial since most cases of brittle bone disease manifest babies fracturing their bones frequently for no apparent reason.

A baby with this disease can easily fracture his bone by merely reaching out to his parent to be carried or sneezing. WHAT YOU SHOULD CHECK 1. If your baby has broken a bone which you find odd considering he's been handled with care since birth, don't wait for another broken bone to occur.

Have him checked for this disease right away. It is better to be safe than sorry. 2. Check if the whites of his eyes are more bluish or grayish than white. 3.

He bruises easily. 4. His teeth are discolored. Even if you notice that his bone fracture hasn't occurred in several months and you don't see a pattern such as him not breaking his bone twice over the same incident, this is all the more why you should have him checked for Osteogenesis Imperfecta because fractures when you have this disease do not usually occur in a pattern. So before you go blaming yourself or any other person for hurting your child, it is best to have him checked for every possible reason why he got hurt in the first place.

In some cases, babies are fortunate enough to have this kind of disease temporarily. This temporary brittle bone syndrome usually comes in the first year of the child and disappears soon after.

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