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What is osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease)?

Osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) is a lifelong genetic condition affecting the body’s ability to make collagen protein, causing fragile and brittle bones. Without the right amount of collagen, bones are weak and highly susceptible to trauma, causing frequent fractures and breaks.

Symptoms include broken bones, bleeding, bruising, frequent nosebleeds, bowed legs, difficulties breathing, scoliosis, fatigue, sensitive skin, short stature, and weak muscles and tissues. While there is no cure, the condition can be managed.

What issues do children with osteogenesis imperfecta face?


Weakened bones can lead to abnormal bending, painful breaks, and fractures.


Children with frequent broken bones are vulnerable to bullying and exclusion.


Children can lose the ability to walk, preventing them from attending school.

How does surgery change a child’s life?

  • The condition can be managed with medicine to strengthen, and surgery to straighten, the bones.
  • Children experience restored confidence and hope as they are accepted into community life.
  • Mobility improves so children can run, play, walk pain-free, and complete school, which leads to more opportunities.

Miracles happen every day at CURE Children’s Hospital of Ethiopia


Dore’s osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) prevented her from walking, attending school, or helping on the farm like the rest of her siblings. She traveled for days with her father from their village to CURE’s hospital in Addis Ababa so she could receive treatment to strengthen and fix her bones. Now, they have hope!


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CURE Ethiopia provides physical, emotional, and spiritual care to children living with treatable disabilities. Please contact us if you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE.

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