A Practical Approach to Children with Recurrent Fractures

Sophy Korula, Angela T. Titmuss, Andrew Biggin, Craig F. Munns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As many as 50% of children will sustain a fracture before 18 years of age, and up to 20% will have two or more fractures. A small proportion of children who experience multiple fractures have osteoporosis, either from a genetic bone disorder (primary osteoporosis) or secondary to another underlying medical condition (secondary osteoporosis). Fracture history, together with bone mineral density assessment and vertebral radiographs, help clinicians to identify children with osteoporosis. Its aetiology can usually be determined through the combination of a detailed medical history and physical examination, laboratory investigations to assess mineral homeostasis, evaluation of secondary causes of osteoporosis and genetic studies to identify the underlying cause of the disorder. Transiliac bone biopsy with histology and histomorphometry should not be overlooked as valuable tools for the investigation of a child with osteoporosis of uncertain aetiology. Optimal management of osteoporosis requires a multidisciplinary team to address physical activity, nutrition, pubertal progression, the management of any underlying medical condition, pharmacotherapy (bisphosphonates) and orthopaedic surgery. This chapter outlines an approach to the evaluation and treatment of children with recurrent fractures and describes three common scenarios involving infants, children with chronic illness and children without chronic illness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCalcium and Bone Disorders in Children and Adolescents
EditorsJ. Allgrove, N. J. Shaw
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-8055-9162-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-8055-9161-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEndocrine Development
PublisherS Karger AG
ISSN (Print)1421-7082


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