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National Osteoporosis Society

Osteoporosis helpline

0845 450 0230

9am - 5pm Mon-Fri

Rare Types & Related Conditions

There are a number of rare types of osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis associated with pregnancy is an unusual condition when bones, usually in the spine or hip break easily during or after childbirth.

Listen to our event podcast for medical updates from leading health professionals and hear women affected by this condition share their experiences.

Osteoporosis in children or teenagers is an uncommon condition. When it does occur it is usually as a result of one of several different medical conditions, or the medications that are used to treat them such as corticosteroids. However, on rare occasions when no underlying illness or disease is identified, a diagnosis of idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis (IJO) may be made. [See information leaflet below.]

Complex regional pain syndrome-CRPS- (Reflex sympathetic dystrophy) affects hands, feet, wrists, ankles or knees, but can also spread up an entire limb, causing continuous pain. Although often triggered by a minor injury or previous broken bone the reason for the pain is not fully understood. Sometimes pain is traced to a specific nerve injury but this is not always the case. Often there is loss of bone density in the affected area. CPRS is a localised problem and does not lead to general osteoporosis. [See information leaflet below]

Transient migratory osteoporosis is a rare condition which can cause chronic pain and is associated with sudden loss of bone density usually in a hip. This is unlike ‘ordinary’ osteoporosis which is only painful when broken bones have occurred. Pain resolves eventually but sometimes reoccurs in another part of the body. Referral to a pain clinic may be necessary to help with the difficult pain problems associated with this condition.


Many conditions affect bone and are similar or related to osteoporosis. The charity has received many enquiries on the following:

Osteoporosis imperfecta (OI) or more commonly known as ‘brittle bone disease’, is an inherited condition, which is present from the time of conception. It is caused by defects in collagen, the fibrous framework of bone, which is important for bone strength. This leads to an increased likelihood of broken bones. [See information sheet below.]

Abnormalities in other areas of the body containing collagen lead to additional problems in some people, such as lax joints, fragile teeth, blue or grey sclera (whites of eyes) and bruising. Some people with OI have short stature and some develop deafness, particularly in the teenage years or their twenties.

Osteoarthritis is different to osteoporosis and is a disease that affects the joints in the body causing them to become damaged and inflamed. Hips, knees and knuckles can be affected and joints in the spine can be affected. Both conditions occur more commonly as people age. Sometimes back pain can be caused by compression fractures as well as osteoarthritis in the joints. [See information sheet below.]

Other conditions include [please click on the links to find out more]:

Paget's disease


Download List


All About Osteoporosis

All about osteoporosis is our in-depth 66-page book which comprehensively covers everything you need to know about osteoporosis and fragility fractures. To download it, please go to our Information leaflets and booklets page.

More information from us

Our osteoporosis helpline can offer you advice and support by telephone, email, or letter.

For more details about the information in these publications, you can visit Leaflets and Booklets page.

For further support you may want to visit our online osteoporosis discussion forum.


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