Bone Deterioration Diseases

Numerous diseases cause bone deterioration and degeneration. According to MedlinePlus, a person's bones help her ambulate and give her body shape and support, and to develop strong bones and ward off bone loss, it's important for a person to get adequate calcium and vitamin D and to do weight-bearing exercise. MedlinePlus states that poor nutrition, genetic factors and chronic disease, among other factors, can cause bone deterioration.

Physiotherapist examines elderly patient's wrist. (Image: 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images)


Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bone deterioration. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National institutes of Health, osteoporosis is responsible for over 1.5 million fractures among Americans each year, including 300,000 hip fractures, 700,000 spine or vertebral fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures, and over 300,000 fractures at other locations.

NIAMS states that osteoporosis is a disease characterized by reduced bone mineral density and bone deterioration, which results in fragile bones and an increased risk for fracture. Although osteoporosis is seen more often in women, both women and men are affected by the disease. NIAMS reports that osteoporosis is both treatable and preventable. Common risk factors for osteoporosis include the following: gender, age, body size, ethnicity and family history.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a disease that causes bone deterioration. The Kennedy Krieger Institute, a Baltimore, Maryland-based nonprofit medical, educational and research corporation, states that osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic skeletal disorder characterized by brittle or fragile bones that predisposes a person to fractures. According to the KKI, a person with osteogenesis imperfecta may have blue sclerae or a bluish hue to the whites of his eyes and that along with brittle bones that fracture easily, he may have other concurrent health problems, including the following: scoliosis; bone pain; hearing and vision loss; brittle teeth; short stature; and respiratory, cardiovascular and kidney problems.

The Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation states that most cases of osteogenesis imperfecta are caused by a dominant mutation to type 1 collagen genes and that the prognosis or outlook for a person with osteogenesis imperfecta largely depends on the number and severity of symptoms present.

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a disease that causes bone deterioration. According to the International Myeloma Foundation, multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that affects plasma or antibody-producing cells—a type of white blood cell—and the disease is called multiple myeloma because it develops in multiple locations throughout a bone. MedlinePlus reports that although experts are unsure of the exact cause of multiple myeloma, it's more common in older individuals and African-Americans and that common early symptoms of the disease may include the following: bone pain in the back, pelvis, ribs or skull; broken bones; weakness or fatigue; weight loss; and frequent infections. The Mayo Clinic website states that multiple myeloma is not contagious and that certain factors may increase a person's likelihood of developing the disease, including being an African-American male, over 50 years of age or obese.

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