What is Metabolic Bone Disease?

Posted on December 11th, 2019 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Understanding Metabolic Bone Disease

At Orthopaedic Speciality Group, we treat patients with a spectrum of conditions, many of which are related to bone strength and skeletal health. Learn more about the following bone diseases to understand your situation better.

Do I Have Metabolic Bone Disease?

Our skeleton is just one area of our body that is continuously changing. It breaks down and reforms, although sometimes not normally. Metabolic bone disease is a general term that describes various bone strength disorders or deformities of the bone-related to abnormalities of minerals that contribute to bone mass and structure.  

Some of the most common forms of the disease are:

  • Osteoporosis: thinning of the bones, making sprains and fractures more common.
  • Osteomalacia: softening of the bones in adults, common during multiple pregnancies or old age.
  • Paget disease of bone: repetitive breakdown and formation of bone tissue.
  • Fibrous Dysplasia: replacement of calcified bone with fibrous tissue.
  • Rickets: softening of the bones during infancy or childhood, which leads to abnormal growth.

Breaking Down Our Bones

Our healthy bone structure consists of a protein matrix, which is referred to as osteoid, and mineral complexes. When our bones are missing a healthy balance of minerals, they can become brittle or weak. The ‘building blocks’ of our bones consist of calcium, vitamin D, protein, and phosphorous. If a patient has a disease that causes a deficiency in any of these elements, they may experience bone loss or fractures.

Individuals who may commonly be at risk for bone loss include:

  • Those with small body sizes.
  • Those with a history of fractures.
  • Those with a history of steroid use.
  • Those with a history of organ transplants.
  • Those with a history of intestinal and kidney disorders.
  • Those who are over the age of 65.

Individuals who have issues with their thyroid glands may also experience an increased chance of a bone disorder. Our parathyroid gland is responsible for regulating calcium and phosphorus in our blood, assisting with clotting, and muscle function. If our parathyroid is not fully functioning, our bone strength can be damaged in the process.

Diagnosing metabolic bone diseases are complex, and should be handled by your orthopedic specialist and your endocrinologist when applicable to find the right treatment plan. 

At Orthopaedic Speciality Group, we understand every patient’s treatment is unique and individually tailored. To book an appointment with one of our specialists, call us today at (203)337-2600 or contact us online.