Your skeleton supports your body, allows you to move, and protects your organs. Good bone health is key to good overall health. That’s why it’s important to also protect your bones. The loss of bone mineral density weakens bones and makes them break easily.
The Bone Health Program at Boston Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive treatment of children and adolescents with skeletal disease or who are at risk for low bone density. Our program brings together physicians, nurses, and technologists who are experts in bone health to treat low bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, fractures, skeletal dysplasia, and other related conditions.
With years of experience in pediatric and adult endocrinology, genetics, adolescent medicine, and clinical densitometry (bone density testing), we are able to specialize in many different bone health disciplines:
- metabolic bone disease conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, hypovitaminosis D, and rickets
- genetic bone diseases such as fibrous dysplasia, brittle bone disease, and osteopetrosis
- skeletal fragility due to chronic illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida
- bone health in athletes
We also believe in the promise of research and the need to constantly look for new and better ways to diagnose and treat bone disease. Our program’s clinical research includes a study that looks at the genetics and natural history of multiple fractures, and another study aims to learn more about the bone health of children with Crohn’s disease.
If your child has a condition related to bone minerals, low bone density, rickets, or any related condition, our team can create an individualized treatment plan that meets their wide-ranging needs. We strive to provide empathetic and compassionate care that involves the input of your family. Grounded in clinical expertise and research, we aim to keep your child’s bones as strong and healthy as possible.
Your visit to the Bone Health Program
During an appointment for bone health evaluation, your child can anticipate a comprehensive assessment of their skeletal well-being. It is recommended that patients come prepared with a list of any previous fractures, including details on the age of the fracture and the mechanism of the injury. Families are also encouraged to bring along nutritional information about their child, with details on their calcium and vitamin D intake.
The check-in process may vary based on where the appointment is scheduled: either at Boston Children’s main campus or a satellite office. Depending on the physician's recommendations, your child might be advised to have x-rays, bone density testing, and laboratory work, either before or during their visit. The appointment aims to evaluate bone health status, identify potential risk factors, and develop personalized strategies for optimal bone health maintenance.