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Metabolic bone disease is an umbrella term for disorders that are caused by an abnormal bone cell function.

There are two primary types of bone cells – those that build bone and those that remove bone. When the function of these cells is disrupted, it can cause a variety of different metabolic (related to metabolism) bone disorders.

Shriners Children’s provides a variety of services to children with bone disorders caused by nutritional, chemical or glandular problems that are metabolic in nature. These disorders are often genetically transmitted and passed down from generation to generation.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Types of Metabolic Bone Diseases

Shriners Children’s provides treatment for more than 100 bone diseases ranging from common to rare. Below are the most commonly treated conditions:

  • Rickets: When bone-forming cells cannot put enough calcium or phosphate into the bones, the bones will become soft, leading to a disease called rickets.
  • Osteoporosis: When not enough bone is produced or too much bone material is removed, osteoporosis occurs.
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta or brittle bone disease: In this disorder, the bone forming cells have a genetic abnormality and produce low-quality bone that is too brittle and fractures easily.
  • Other conditions include:

Treatment for Metabolic Bone Diseases

Our interdisciplinary team works to diagnose, treat and investigate the causes of rare bone disorders and provide medical therapy when available. This team may consist of pediatric geneticists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, pediatric orthopedic surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists and more. Our comprehensive care for children and teenagers with metabolic bone diseases results in the best possible outcomes.

Treatment may include:

  • Bone-strengthening treatments
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Collaboration with nutritional services to design meal plans fulfilling the child’s need for calcium and phosphorous
  • Promoting growth through the use of hormones
  • Help patients adapt to activities of daily living, including school
  • Encouraging patients to stay active by getting them the equipment that they need
  • Surgery: For children who need surgery, our orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists are specialized in pediatrics and provide the most comprehensive care.
Their level of expertise and motivation will have us singing the praises of Shriners Children's for years to come.
Julie, Portland
female patient playing with toy

Occupational Therapy

The focus of an occupational therapist is on providing new strategies, exercises and activities, education and adapting the environment to fit the specific needs of the child and their family.

Innovative Treatments

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Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Shriners Children's helps children build confidence and strength, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists at Shriners Children's help kids be as independent as possible, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Nutritional Services

Our clinical dietitians work closely with your child's care team to provide the best nutrition plan for both inpatients and outpatients. Meeting your child's nutritional needs prior to and after surgery is optimal for his or her recovery.

Pediatric Surgery

Shriners Children's world-renowned pediatric surgery program gives us the ability to help children who have a variety of conditions, including those they were born with, as well as those that develop over time or are the result of an injury.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.