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Patient Education

Bone Health in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: For Parents

key information

source: Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy


This information sheet is about bone health in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is written for parent and caregivers.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which there is thinning of the bones (reduced bone mineral density, or BMD). When bones are less dense, they become weak and brittle, which can lead to fractures. People with Duchenne often develop osteoporosis due in part to lack of activity and as a side effect of steroid medication.

How do I know if my son has osteoporosis or a fracture?

People cannot feel osteoporosis unless there is a fracture, which can be painful. Fractures of the spine are more common in steroid-treated patients, may become painful over time; and can usually be diagnosed by X-ray. If your son has a limp, painful leg or arm, or back pain, his doctor may order X-rays to determine if he has a fracture and/or thinning of the bones.

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