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Skeletal System Diseases and Disorders

This HealthHearty article presents few of the common skeletal system diseases and disorders. Apart from fractures and arthritis, many disorders and diseases affect the skeletal system. Here is a short account of common skeletal problems.
HealthHearty Staff
Skeletal system being the framework of our body, any problem affecting it can bring about great changes in the functioning of our body systems. The skeletal system diseases and disorders are mainly characterized by pain, inflammation, restricted movement, and other such problems. Information given below should help in becoming aware of few such problems.
Diseases and Disorders of the Skeletal System
Arthritis and physical injuries in the form of fractures are commonly observed problems. However, there are many other diseases and disorders associated to skeletal system.
Osteoporosis: In this skeletal system disease, the bone tissue is lost. Calcium from cancellous bones is lost, and therefore, bones become thin, weak, and fragile. Osteoporosis increases your chances of bone fractures. Technically speaking, this condition leads to low bone mineral density (BMD).
Arthritis: This skeletal system disorder results in damaged bone joints. The swelling & reddening of skin, joint pain, and restricted joint movements are the commonly observed symptoms of arthritis. In one of the types of arthritis, i.e. osteoarthritis, wear and tear of the articulatory cartilage occurs. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which swelling of joints is observed, and pain is experienced. Gout is also a form of arthritis.
Gout: The condition of gout results from disturbances in the metabolism process which causes uric acid imbalance in the body. Uric acid produced in excess amount gets deposited in between the joints. Acute pain and chronic joint destruction are few of the problems experienced by patients of gout.
Scoliosis: In this disorder of skeletal system, the spinal cord gets deviated sideways. The acquired abnormalities of vertebrae, nerves, and muscles result into scoliosis. Surgical correction, osteotomy or fusion, helps deal with the problem.
Lordosis: It is the inward curvature of spinal cord. Curvature in cervical and lumbar regions is commonly observed. The different causes of lordosis include diseases of spinal muscles and vertebrae, and faulty posture. Kyphosis is a condition similar to lordosis in which the spine curves outward.
Fracture: A physical injury which leads to cracking or breaking of a bone is termed as fracture. Different types of bone fractures along with their descriptions are enlisted below.
  • Simple Fracture: In this form of fracture, the bone breaks without causing any damage/cuts in the overlying skin.
  • Compound Fracture: In this type of fracture, the skin which lies over the fractured bone is ruptured by this very bone.
  • Impacted Fracture: The impacted fracture is one in which broken bones get driven into each other.
  • Greenstick: Children often suffer from greenstick fracture of bones. When the outer cortex of a bone is not damaged, and just the inner bone breaks, it is called greenstick fracture. Sometimes, excessive pressure on a joint results in sprains and ligament tearing.
Osteomyelitis: It is a form of bone infection which has two main causes. An infectious agent, which is blood-borne, causes osteomyelitis in most cases. A secondary infection may be the other cause of osteomyelitis. Such infections result from penetration of skin by fractures. Staphylococcus aureus is the causal organism of osteomyelitis in most cases. Bone tenderness of a high degree is an important symptom of osteomyelitis; the other symptoms being difficulty in limb movement, fever, and loss of appetite.
List of Skeletal System Disorders and Diseases
  • Benign bone tumors
  • Osteopenia - Low bone density, but not as low as that seen in osteoporosis patients.
  • Bursitis - Inflammation or irritation of the bursa, a sac filled with lubricating fluid, present in bone joints.
  • Leukemia - Excessive production of immature or abnormal leukocytes (white blood cells) in bone marrow.
  • Metabolic bone diseases like osteoporosis, Paget's disease of bone (enlarged and misshapen bones), rickets, osteomalacia, and osteitis fibrosa cystica (hyperparathyroidism stimulates the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bones), etc.
  • Ewing's sarcoma - a type of cancer
  • Skeletal dysplasia, commonly known as dwarfism, involves hundreds of conditions that affect bones and cartilage growth.
  • Bone cancer or Osteosarcoma
  • Slipped epiphysis - fracture in the growth plate that results in slippage of the overlying end of the femur.
  • Coxa vara - a deformity of the hip
  • Legg-Perthes' disease - a hip disorder
  • Osteogenesis imperfects - extreme fragility of the bones
Many of the skeletal system diseases and disorders are not included in this list. However, those presented above are observed commonly.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.