Brittle Bones or Fragile Bone Syndrome

Who hurt your child?

When a doctor sees a child with an unexplained fracture, their first reaction is often to blame the parents. Here in Michigan, 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 don’t seem to match the injury, or the severity of the injury


X-rays of a broken arm


However, alleged child abuse will take priority. A Child Protection Team doctor may take that injury as absolute proof of abuse. (Our CPS defense attorneys are accustomed to reading reports from these CPT doctors with wording like, “this is diagnostic of child 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 forth with such force that the bones mineralize.

These corner fractures of metaphyseal lesion injuries, are never enough to prove abuse by themselves, much less being “diagnostic of child abuse.” 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. This is old-school thinking and the doctors that work extensively with real child abuse cases understand that corner fractures are not, in and of themselves, diagnostic of anything other than a corner fracture.

It’s not your fault!

Certain metabolic and genetic deficiencies could be to blame for your child’s injury. These could include:

  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)
  • Osteopenia
  • Wormian Bones
  • Temporary Brittle Bone Disease
  • Rickets 

This list is not all-inclusive. Pediatric orthopedic physicians are especially trained to diagnose and treat bone conditions in children. However, many of them fail to examine all possible causes of unexplained injuries. The diagnosis of child abuse is most often made by physicians that are not adequately trained. They sometimes lack adequate facts to accurately diagnose a bone fracture. In our decades of experience fighting for parents that have been falsely accused of hurting their own children, we’ve learned that oftentimes, getting an accurate diagnosis of an unexplained injury takes a whole team of medical specialists.

For example, we often utilize pediatric orthopedic doctors, genetic specialists, pediatric radiologists, biomechanical engineers, and other highly trained experts from all over the United States. Fortunately, our CPS defense attorneys are experienced enough to understand the shortcomings in an incomplete or inaccurate diagnosis. We understand how to defend these cases using the correct medical experts that give a more accurate picture than a single CPT doctor. 

an x-ray of knees

Commonly, Child Protection Team doctors will order genetic testing to rule out detectable Osteogenesis Imperfecta incidents. If the results are negative, CPS and courts often decide that the child must have healthy bones. This kind of reasoning is flawed for so many reasons. However, it does take a highly experienced CPS attorney working with an expert medical team to understand which other causes need to be examined and ruled out prior to making a careless diagnosis of child abuse. 

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 appear in testing, they might still be the reason that a child is more prone to injury. 

an x-ray of a hand

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 very important vitamin deficiency. Even more concerning, they rarely attempt an in-depth investigation of why a child’s bones might have been injured in such a way.

If your child has a vitamin D deficiency or one of many other metabolic issues, his / her bone fractures may imitate child abuse. Usually, children with vitamin or mineral deficiencies will reveal multiple fractures without much bruising or signs of pain. Here at The Kronzek Firm, we have helped many parents in Michigan who have been falsely accused of abuse due to their children’s incorrectly diagnosed injuries. More frequently, CPT doctors, CPS, and courts want to blame parents when the real issue is a child’s vitamin D deficiency or some 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 law surrounding the child protection system. For the past quarter-century, our lawyers have worked extensively to help families here in Michigan and throughout the Midwest when they have been falsely accused of abusing or neglecting their children.

When parents are blamed for abuse, they typically notice something wrong with their child. As a result, they do the right thing by taking their child to the doctor. The parents might notice tenderness in a certain spot or some slight bruising. The doctor will ask the child to get X-rays done and discover what they believe is a fracture. This will often come as a surprise to the parents. An unexplained injury would be a red flag to any physician, and in their minds, warrant a call to CPS investigators.

The doctor and investigators will immediately start questioning the parents, demanding an explanation. They will continue to interrogate you, despite the fact that most parents have no idea how an injury or fracture might have occurred. The doctors don’t think about their questions as being interrogation, instead trying to call it a part of their medical investigation into the cause of the injury. That’s nonsense. It is interrogation and it will be relayed to CPS and to the police. Our best advice? Lawyer up. 

A doctor standing near a window and reviewing a chart

Parents sometimes think they are being helpful when they speculate with CPS or doctors about how their child might have been injured. Parents think about all the possible ways their child might have been hurt, then start offering possible 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, they take that as parents admitting their guilt. This is the right time to contact a lawyer if you didn’t lawyer up at the beginning of their interrogation. 

It is always a bad idea for parents to speculate what might have caused their child’s injury. This is especially true if they lack adequate training, experience, and knowledge. If a parent is under investigation for child abuse, they should decline to speak until their attorney is present. Lawyer up. Similarly, a parent should never talk to a police officer about their child’s injuries without an experienced attorney present. Lawyer up.

The only reason a police officer would ever want to talk to a parent about a child’s injuries would be to determine whether to arrest that parent due to suspected child neglect or child abuse. The police are not involved because they are your friends. Never allow yourself to be interrogated without having a CPS defense lawyer present. 

A teddy bear lying on a hospital bed

If your child has multiple fractures or unexplained injuries, you should be prepared for the CPS to investigate and interrogate you often. It is also likely that Michigan CPS will attempt to challenge your parental rights over just your injured child. They may also extend their allegations to other children that you have or will have in the future. It gets even worse because parents face possible criminal child abuse charges, 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 CPS defense attorney with decades of experience defending clients against false allegations of child abuse. If you are in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, keep quiet and contact us immediately. 

Here at The Kronzek Firm, our attorneys fight day and night for 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. We’ve helped thousands of people in Michigan since the last century. We can help you, too. 

You should contact us immediately if:

  • Your child has multiple fractures
  • Your child has injuries that cannot be explained without speculating
  • CPS or law enforcement has 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 warrior 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.