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Top Ten Bone Diseases

author image Noreen Kassem
Noreen Kassem is a hospital doctor and a medical writer. Her articles have been featured in "Women's Health," "Nutrition News," "Check Up" and "Alive Magazine." Kassem also covers travel, books, fitness, nutrition, cooking and green living.
Top Ten Bone Diseases
Bone diseases may be caused by nutrient deficiencies, abnormal cell development or genetics.

Bone diseases are disorders and conditions that cause abnormal development and/or impairment in normal bone development. This can result in weakened bones, inflamed joints and pain. Your bones naturally lose density after the age of 20 due to the aging process; however, some diseases of the bone can cause excessive loss of bone strength and density. Nutrient deficiencies such a lack of vitamin D or C, hormonal imbalances and cell abnormalities can also cause bone disorders in both children and adults.


Osteoporosis is characterized by an abnormal loss of bone mass and disintegration of bone structure in older adults. This can cause bone fragility and increases the risk of fractures and breaks. Most individuals who have this disease are not aware of it until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis can be prevented or decreased by the right nutrition and exercise.

Paget's Disease

Paget's disease is a disorder of cells called osteoblasts and osteoclasts that are responsible for breaking down, rebuilding and remolding bone tissue. Paget's disease causes bones to become thickened and enlarged but also brittle due to abnormal structural development.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

This disease is a genetic disorder that is characterized by brittle bones that break or fracture easily. It is caused by a gene defect in the production of collagen, a protein that is needed to make bones strong. Osteogenesis imperfecta even affects the bones in the inner ear and can cause hearing loss, as well as weak teeth and a curved spine.

Bone Cancers

According to the National Cancer Institute, bone cancer may be due to a primary cancer that begins in the bone or spreads to the bone as secondary cancer from another part of the body such as cancer in the lungs, breast or prostate. There are several types of primary bone cancers such as leukemia, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma and chondrosarcoma.


This preventable bone disease affects young children and is caused by a deficiency of the nutrient vitamin D. Rickets causes weak, brittle bones that fracture easily and bone and muscle pain.


Osteomalacia is similar to rickets because it is caused by a defect in vitamin D metabolism by the body, but it affects mainly adults. It is characterized by weakened bones and abnormal bone formation.


Acromegaly is a bone condition caused by excess of growth hormone production by the body. Overgrown bones in the face, hands and feet characterize this disease. The most common cause of acromegaly is a benign tumor on the pituitary gland in the brain.

Perthes' Disease

This disease affects the bone of the hip joint in children. The femoral head, which is the joint area on the long bone in the upper leg, deteriorates due to a lack of blood supply, causing pain and the inability to walk.

Fibrous Dysplasia

Fibrous dysplasia results in excessive growth or swelling of bone due to abnormal cell development. There are several types of fibrous dysplasia that mainly affect the bones of the skull, face, ribs, upper arms, pelvis, thighs and shins.


Osteomyelitis is a bacterial infection of bone, which can either be sudden and acute or chronic. Treatment may include antibiotics and in some cases, surgery to remove the infected bone tissue.

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