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National Osteoporosis Society

Osteoporosis helpline

0845 450 0230

9am - 5pm Mon-Fri

Less common types of osteoporosis

There are several unusual types of osteoporosis. In some ways they are similar to the general form of osteoporosis but they also have some differences in terms of symptoms, consequences and treatments.

Osteoporosis in children

There is an unusual condition in young children called ideopathic juvenile osteoporosis where broken bones occur spontaneously without an apparent underlying problem. Sometimes, osteoporosis happens because of other factors such as corticosteroid use, brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) or because a child is immobile. 

Osteoporosis associated with pregnancy

This is a rare condition when bones, usually in the spine or hip, break easily during or after pregnancy. 

Transient migratory osteoporosis

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. The pain goes away eventually but sometimes recurs 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.

Conditions related to osteoporosis

Some medical conditions are very different from osteoporosis but there can be confusion because they have similar names or share the same causes, symptoms or treatments. 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS affects a hand, foot, wrist, ankle or knee but can spread up a whole limb. Although often triggered by a minor injury or previous broken bone the reason for continuous pain is poorly understood. Sometimes pain is traced to a speci?c nerve injury but sometimes not. There can be loss of bone density in the affected area. This is a localised problem and does not result in general osteoporosis. 


This is different to osteoporosis and is a disease that affects the joints in the body causing them to become damaged. Hips, knees and knuckles can be affected and so can joints in the spine. Both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis occur more commonly as people age. Sometimes back pain can be caused by compression fractures as well as osteoarthritis in the joints. 

Osteogenesis imperfecta

Often called 'brittle bone' disease, osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disorder of collagen, the protein which forms the framework for the minerals in bones. Collagen may be of poor quality, or there may not be enough to support the mineral structure of  bones. This results in a number of problems including bones becoming brittle and breaking easily. 

Osteoporosis in children

Osteoporosis associated with pregnancy

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)


Osteogenesis imperfecta



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 information and support by telephone, email, or letter.

For more details about publications we produce, you can visit Leaflets and Booklets page.

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

Find out more about osteoporosis associated with pregnancy with our podcasts


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