What Causes Osteitis?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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Osteitis is a disease of the bones. The condition is long term and causes irregularities in bone growth. Osteitis also causes the bones to become deformed, weak and more likely to break. The cause of osteitis is unknown.

With osteitis, there is a disruption in the regular growth of bone cells. A rapid breakdown of the bone occurs, and new cells have to be produced very quickly. The end result is weaker bones. Due to the overproduction of bone cells, the bones are also larger than they should be.

Some scientific findings suggest evidence of a hereditary cause of osteitis. Four out of ten people who have the condition also have a family history of the disease. Other findings suggest that the condition may be due to some form of virus, but this has not been proved.

Symptoms of osteitis include shooting pains in affected parts of the body. Curvature of the spine and the legs may also occur. There are also some cases of the skull growing larger. Muscle weakness usually occurs as the bones are enlarged and pressure is applied to the nerves. Areas most commonly affected include the legs, skull, collarbone, spine and pelvis.


Symptoms such as tinnitus and vision irregularities have also been known to accompany osteitis. Deafness and dizziness can also occur due to pressure to the nerves in the head. Arthritis is another symptom of the condition. Bone breakage may result from very small injuries or for no reason at all.

Some people who suffer from osteitis have no symptoms at all. Diagnosis is made using x-rays and scans of the bones, as well as blood tests. There are a greater number of chemicals in the blood of an osteitis sufferer than in a healthy person's blood.

Treatment is usually not necessary unless there is pain or discomfort. However, treatment is required if any complications are anticipated in the future due to the disease. Medicines such as bisphosphonate are used to reduce the speed of the disease. The rapid growth of new bone cells can be reduced by this method, and bone cells should grow normally.


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