There’s no cure for brittle bone disease. However, there are supportive therapies that help reduce your child’s risk of broken bones and increase their quality of life.
A procedure in which metal rods are surgically placed in the long bones to prevent fractures (rodding) is often used to treat individuals with OI. Plastic braces are replacing plaster casts as protective devices because they permit greater freedom of movement and can be used in water. Inflatable suits can provide added protection, especially to very young children.
Exercise and physical therapy programs have proven beneficial in strengthening muscles, increasing weight-bearing capacity, and reducing the tendency to fracture. Physical therapy in the water (hydrotherapy) has also been proven helpful since moving around in water lessens the chance of fracture. Individuals with OI should consult with their physicians and physical therapists to determine a safe and appropriate exercise program.
Surgery may prove necessary for individuals with severe malformation of the bones of the spine or basilar impression. Dental procedures may be necessary to correct various dental abnormalities. Affected individuals, especially adults, should be monitored for hearing impairment often associated with OI. Genetic counseling may be of benefit for affected individuals and their families. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.
Mental health counseling to help treat issues with body image.
Bisphosphonate medications to strengthen bones.