The human skeleton is the internal structure of our body and is made up of 270 bones when we are born. The number decreases to 206 bones, as we reach adulthood due to fusion of some bones. The skeletal bone reaches the maximum density at roughly 30 years of age. Our skeleton is further divided into axial skeleton and appendicular skeleton.
The 6 Primary Functions Of Our Skeleton Are:
- Production of blood cells
- Endocrine regulation
- Ion storage
Bones are also vital in protecting our important body organs, like lungs heart, kidneys etc. There are many diseases and conditions affecting the bones in our body and we have covered many such conditions, such as cancer; to common conditions like osteoporosis; and some uncommon conditions like Blount's Disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome etc.
Given below is a brief look into some of the topics which we have covered. To read more about them in detail about their causes, symptoms, classifications, investigations and different treatment modalities , please click on the left side menu and read on to find all this and more under our BONE INFORMATION CENTER.
Cancer originating in the bone is known as bone cancer.
The Different Types of Bone Cancer are:
- Ewing's Sarcoma
Stages of bone cancer are: Stage I, II, III and IV. The cause of the bone cancer is not clear. According to experts, mutations in the DNA cells result in uncontrollable division of the cells leading to formation of a mass or tumor. Risk factors of bone cancer are: Inherited genetic syndromes, precancerous conditions (Paget's disease) and exposure to radiation etc. Symptoms of bone cancer are: Pain in the bone, tenderness, swelling, weakness and unintentional weight loss.
The Following Investigations Help In Confirming The Diagnosis:
- Bone scan.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) scan.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan.
Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, type of bone cancer and the patient's general health and it includes: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or a combination of all.
This is a disorder of the bone growth. This is an inherited disorder which results in abnormally short stature along with excessively short limbs.
Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder and occurs as a result of improper functioning of certain directive genes in the body. Another cause is a genetic defect passed from a parent to their child. Symptoms comprise of short stature, projecting forehead, shortened legs and arms, bowed legs, decreased muscle tone, disproportionately large head size, stenosis of the spine, breathing problems, spinal curvatures (lordosis, kyphosis), misaligned/ crowded teeth, broad and short flat feet, middle ear infection, obesity and delayed developmental milestones. There is no particular treatment for Achondroplasia. Supportive treatment is done and treatment for associated problems, such as breathing problems, is done.
For more details, please refer to our BONE INFORMATION CENTER on the left side menu.
This is a tibial growth disorder resulting in inward turning of the lower legs and resulting in a bowleg. Different types of Blount's Disease are: Infantile Blount's disease and Adolescent Blount's disease. The exact cause is not known. Risk factors are: Adolescents and young children are more prone to it, being overweight and African-American children are at a higher risk for developing it. Symptoms are inward turning of either one or both the legs and this worsens over time. Treatment comprises of bracing. Surgery is done if the braces fail to correct the bowing.
This is an auto-inflammatory disorder consisting of prolonged and recurrent episodes of pain spanning several years. Children and young adults are more commonly affected by this. Symptoms are: Bone lesions in the affected bone region, aching pain, a distinct limp, fever, swelling and skin redness. The exact cause is not known. Other associated problems include: Adjacent and distal joints arthritis, Enthesitis-related arthritis, sclerotic lesions, inflammatory bowel disease, uveitis, palmoplantar pustulosis and psoriasis. The following investigations are carried out for diagnosis: Bone biopsy, plain radiographic findings and MRI. Treatment is difficult and its aim is to treat the episodes and ward off any flare-ups. Medications, such as NSAIDs, oral steroids, sulfasalazine, bisphosphonates and physical therapy etc. are useful. Surgery is done for severe cases.
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a group of inherited diseases commonly affecting the connective tissues, blood vessel walls and skin. Depending upon the gene mutations, EDS is classified into:
- Classic or Type I-II.
- Hypermobile Type or Type III.
- Vascular Type or Type IV.
- Kyphoscoliosis Type or Type VI.
- Arthrochalasia Type or Type VII A and VII B.
- Dermatosparaxis Type or Type VII C.
Causes are various types of genetic mutations and it can also be hereditary. Symptoms are: Easy scarring, delayed wound healing, flatfeet, early damaged/ bruised/ stretchy skin, dislocation of joint, premature rupturing of membranes during pregnancy, velvety skin, visual problems, premature arthritis, increase in joint mobility, joint popping and pain. There is no proper cure or treatment for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or EDS. Treatment is done by way of managing symptoms and warding off potential complications. Medications like NSAIDS, Physical Therapy are beneficial. Surgery is done in rare cases.
This is osteoporosis which occurs as a result of prolonged use of corticosteroids; hence the name. Symptoms are: Easy fracturing of the wrist or hip bone; compression fractures of the spine, acute back pain, and height loss. Tests for diagnosis are: Physical examination and DEXA scan to measure the bone density. Treatment comprises of cutting down the use of corticosteroids; replacing them with nonsteroidal medications. Other treatment options include: Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and medicines, such as bisphosphonates, raloxifene, calcitonin, Tamoxifen and statins.
Scoliosis is a condition where there is lateral curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can be Mild, Moderate or Severe. Scoliosis is classified as:
- Infantile Scoliosis
- Juvenile Scoliosis
- Adolescent Scoliosis
- Adult Scoliosis
- Elderly Scoliosis
Causes Include: Environmental or genetic abnormalities, dietary deficiency, stress, intake of toxins/chemicals, congenital reasons and sometimes the cause cannot be found. Scoliosis can also be associated with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Symptoms consist of pain, tingling, numbness, weakness in the legs, back pain, muscle spasm, facet joint arthropathy, dyspnea, palpitations, tachycardia and uneven musculature. Investigations done for scoliosis include: Scoliometer, x-ray, MRI, blood examination and genetic testing.
Treatment is done by way of observation, physical therapy, postural training, positioning support, occupational therapy, chiropractic treatment, casting, corrective traction and braces. Surgery is done for severe cases and it includes spinal fusion with instrumentation.
For more detailed read on this condition, please go to the left side menu where our BONE INFORMATION CENTER is located, where you can read everything about causes, classifications, sign and symptoms and treatment options of Scoliosis in extensive detail.
Other Bone Diseases & Conditions Which are Covered in This Section:
- Monostotic Fibrous Dysplasia or Jaffe-Lichtenstein Disease
- Salter-Harris Fracture or Growth Plate Fracture
- Porotic Hyperostosis
- Osteopetrosis or Marble Bone Disease
- Klippel-Feil Syndrome
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta
- Paget's Disease of the Bone
- Bone Spurs or Osteophytes
- Shoulder Bone Spurs
- Can Corticosteroids Increase The Risk Of Fracture?
- Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
- Hormonal Causes Of Osteoporosis
- Relapsing Polychondritis