Brittle Bone Disease

Staff photo of the child abuse lawyers of the Kronzek Firm Father talking to son Parents talking to counselor Abused infant in hospital bed Photo with all members of the Kronzek Firm child abuse defense team

Brittle Bones or Fragile Bone Syndrome


Who hurt your child?


When a doctor sees a child with a fracture, their first instinct is often to blame the parents. This frequently means calling Children’s Protective Services (CPS) investigators, police, and a Child Protection Team (CPT). The doctor will usually look at the x-ray for some classic signs of inflicted injury:

  • Fractures in various stages of healing
  • Explanations from parents that do not seem to match the injury or the severity of the injury


Sometimes, however, a certain type of bone injury will supersede all else and a child protection team doctor will take that injury as absolute “proof”, or being diagnostic of abuse. An example of such a serious injury is a Classic Metaphyseal Lesion (CML), sometimes known as a “corner fracture.” This kind of injury often occurs when small children are shaken, causing their small bones to move back and fourth with such force that the bones mineralize. These type of injuries and others, however, are never enough to prove abuse by themselves. Even though medical research has proven that a certain type of injury does not prove abuse, many doctors will report to Children’s Protective Services as soon as they spot such an injury.  


It’s not your fault!


Certain metabolic and genetic deficiencies could be to blame for your child’s injury. Some bone abnormalities your child could have might be Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), Osteopenia, Wormian Bones, Temporary Brittle Bone Disease, and Rickets. This list is not all inclusive. Pediaric Orthopedic physicians are especially trained to diagnose and treat bone conditions in children. However, many of them fail to examine all possible causes of an unexplained injuries.


Oftentimes, Child Protection Team doctors will order genetic testing to rule out detectable Osteogenesis Imperfecta incidents. If the results are negative, CPS and courts will declare that the child must have healthy bones. This kind of reasoning is flawed for so many reasons.


First of all, it is impossible to completely rule out Osteogenesis Imperfecta only with genetic testing. Testing can rule out whether or not your child suffers from the main symptoms of OI, but cannot definitively determine if your child has OI. 


Moreover, there are so many metabolic conditions that would never show up in genetic testing. Even though these conditions do not show up in testing, they might still be the reason that your child is more prone to injury. In the Midwest, for example, infants are showing increasingly high rates of Vitamin D deficiencies. As reported by prominent pediatric radiologists, we are near epidemically high numbers of infants with underdeveloped and frail bones as a result of vitamin D deficiency. Despite the harms and pervasiveness of vitamin D deficiency, doctors almost never check for this and rarely attempt to investigate why a child’s bones might have been injured in such a concerning way.


If your child has a vitamin D deficiency or one of many other metabolic issues, his or her bone fractures may imitate abuse. Oftentimes, children with bone deficiencies will reveal multiple fractures without much bruising or signs of pain. Here at The Kronzek Firm, we have helped many parents who have been falsely accused of abuse due to their children’s incorrectly diagnosed injuries. It has been increasingly the case that Child Protection Team doctors, CPS and courts want to blame parents when the real issue is a child’s vitamin D deficiency or other bone issues.


Common Mistakes


If you are a parent being investigated for abuse, it is vital to work with an attorney familiar with the ins and outs of the child protection system – our lawyers have worked extensively to help families here in Michigan and throughout the Midwest.


When parents are blamed for abuse, what typically happens is that they notice something wrong with their child, so they bring the kid to the doctor. The parent might notice tenderness in a certain spot, or even some slight bruising. The doctor then will ask the child to get x-rays done and will discover a fracture. This will come as a surprise to the parents, and an unexplained injury would be a red flag to any physician, warranting a call to CPS investigators. The doctor and investigators will immediately start questioning the parents, demanding an explanation.


Parents sometimes think they are being helpful when they speculate with CPS or doctors. Parents think about all the possible ways their child might have been injured, then start offering explanations. They might say something like, “perhaps I pulled his arms when picking him up” or “maybe I patted her back too forcefully while burping her.” When CPS investigators hear this, even if it does not fully explain the child’s condition, the investigators take this is as parents admitting their guilt.


It is always a bad idea for parents to speculate what might have caused their child’s injury, without adequate training, experience and knowledge. If a parent is being put under investigation for abuse, they should decline to speak until their attorney is present. Similarly, a parent should never talk to a police officer about their child’s injuries without an experienced attorney being present. This is because the only reason a police officer would ever want to talk to a parent about a child’s injuries would be to entertain the possibility of arresting that parent due to suspected abuse.


If your child has multiple fractures or unexplained injuries, you should be prepared for the CPS to investigate and interrogate you. It is also likely that CPS will attempt to challenge your parental rights over not only your injured child, but also over any other children that you have or will have in the future. It gets even worse because parents face the possibility of being charged with criminal child abuse, resulting in jail or prison time. You should not attempt to face these obstacles on your own; you should seek the assistance of a skilled defense attorney. Here at The Kronzek Firm, our attorneys fight day and night for the innocence of falsely accused parents. Our attorneys have specialized training and widespread experience aiding parents and holding families together. We are connected to a large network of medical professionals who work with us as expert witnesses in defense of parents.


You should contact us immediately if:

  • Your child has multiple fractures.
  • Your child has injuries that cannot be explained without speculating.
  • CPS has contacted you about your child’s injuries.
  • The police have contacted you about your child’s injuries.
  • You have been restricted in some way from seeing your child in the hospital.
  • You are summoned to attend a group meeting to discuss your child’s treatment or injuries.


Do not wait. You need expert, capable and brave attorneys on your side when dealing with Children’s Protective Services and unexplained fractures in children. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day at 1-866-766-5245.

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