OI is a condition in which the patients bones are very brittle and usually the bone density is much lower than in the normal population. This causes the bones to be more fragile, and it often causing bowing the of the bones which eventually lead to lead to fractures (bone breaks).
Children with OI are often treated with bisphosphonates (a medication given to people who have low bone density (ie. older people with osteoporosis) during their entire childhood to help increase their bone density.
Apart from medication, patients with OI often need their long bones straightened (through osteotomies) and rodded to prevent fractures and to keep the bones straight during growth.
Special telescopic rods (such as Fassier-Duval rods) are used to prevent having to change the rod when the child grows.
Another condition that causes the bones to bow and potentially break is called Rickets. Rickets is basically when the body is either lacking or cannot absorb vitamins and minerals needed for the bone to be healthy (such as nutritional vitamin D deficiency or vitamin D resistant rickets).
Similar to patients with OI, these children need medical treatment to help strengthen their bones and may require surgical intervention for their longs bones in their legs (see guided growth or deformity correction using TSF).
Achondroplasia and other skeletal dysplasias
Skeletal dysplasias are conditions that children are born with that can affect the shape of their bones and their joints. These children need to followed closely for their limbs and their spine.
Skeletal dysplasias often present with short stature and one of the most common forms is called Achondroplasia. These patients may have bowing of their limbs that may require surgical intervention (see guided growth). Limb lengthening in this population is controversial and has advantages and disadvantages (see four segement lengthening).