Stories about: bone health

Bone fracture, a blessing in disguise

Blake and Kayla Spellman

Beyond their blue eyes and big smiles, Blake and Kayla Spellman share a unique, hidden bond.

In February of 2014, 15 months after inquisitive and fun-loving Blake was born, there was something amiss. He was holding his arm as if in a sling and his parents didn’t know why. Seeking an explanation, the Spellmans took Blake to see his pediatrician.

“After the doctor came back from viewing an x-ray, you could just tell she was concerned, beyond an obvious broken wrist,” says Blake’s dad Dan. “She ended up recommending we take him right to Boston Children’s Hospital.”

At the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s, Blake was referred to Orthopedics and then to Endocrinology, where he was seen by Dr. Nina Ma, a pediatric endocrinologist and director of the Bone Health Program at Boston Children’s.

“When I looked at the x-ray, I saw cupping and fraying at the wrist, which is a sign he might have something called rickets,” says Ma.

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Bone up on bone health

Today is World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day, so it’s time to bone up on bone health. Though we’ve all heard the basics of why kids should drink milk and build strong bones, this day serves as a reminder of why it’s so important.

Though osteoporosis (a disease that causes bone loss and makes bones fragile and breakable) usually appears in adults, bone is living, growing tissue, so building strong bones throughout childhood can help kids stay strong through adulthood, and help prevent osteoporosis. Kids’ bones begin to mature in the late teen years, so the sooner they start building a strong skeleton, the longer it will stay with them. We know on average women have lower bone mass than men, which makes good dietary and exercise habits early in life very important for young girls and teens.

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Eating disorders and fatty bone marrow?

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MRI of an anorexic patient's knee

There are an estimated 24 million Americans suffering from eating disorders, 90 percent of whom are women between 12 and 25. Identifying and treating eating disorders as early as possible is critical, as months or even years of malnutrition can take an immense toll on the body, and can result in osteoporosis, slowed growth, heart disturbances, loss of menstrual periods, depression and anxiety.

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Health headlines: Bone health, music and secondhand smoke

Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:

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