Bone Health Program

Lurie Children’s Bone Health Program is the only comprehensive, multidisciplinary pediatric bone health program in a free-standing children’s hospital in Illinois. Our Bone Health Program evaluates and treats children and adolescents who have or are at risk of having bone problems. Because bone disorders, such as multiple fractures and juvenile osteoporosis, can harm a child’s healthy skeletal development, mobility, appearance and self-esteem, we recognize the importance of caring for these disorders early on in a child’s life.

Our Bone Health Program treats children and adolescents with the following health issues:

  • Bone mineral density and bone mass
  • Bone fracture
  • Bone deformity
  • Bone strength
  • Bone formation and growth
  • Bone length differences
  • Bone pain

Our goal is to help children have the best possible skeletal growth and bone quality. This is especially important in the first two decades of life when bone growth and formation are very rapid. Our patient outcomes include:

  • Increased bone mineral density leading to stronger bones
  • Reduced risk of bone fracture
  • Decreased inflammation and pain
  • Improved skeletal growth, posture and comfort
  • Increased activity and mobility
  • Improved quality of life and long-term health
  • Decreased risk for fragility fractures as an adult

Numerous disorders can have an impact on a child’s bone health. Children with conditions or experiences such as those listed below are candidates for our treatment:

  • A child with a neuromuscular disorder, including cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy or other congenital disorders with bone, nerve or muscle weakness that hampers movement.
  • A child with a chronic illness of the gastrointestinal tract, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • A child with a chronic respiratory illness such as moderate asthma or cystic fibrosis.
  • A child with a condition requiring long periods in bed, in a chair or who is otherwise immobilized.
  • A child who takes disease-fighting medications that can block the absorption of calcium and other vitamins and minerals, including chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids or anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital, valproate, phenytoin and carbamazepine.
  • A child, pre-teen or teenager who seems prone to broken bones and fractures who is otherwise healthy.
  • A child, pre-teen or teenager who has a poor diet and is not taking in enough calcium and other essential nutrients.
  • A child with an eating disorder, like bulimia or anorexia.
  • A girl who has reached puberty and may be sexually active, who uses the “birth control shot.”
  • A child with a family history of osteoporosis and other diseases that affect bones, joints and skeletal development.
  • A child who is obese and may have or be at-risk for diabetes.

The Lurie Children's Difference

We treat the whole child — not just a bone in their arm or leg. Our approach is thorough, family-centered​ and team-oriented. Our specialists explore a variety of factors, including family history, medical history, medications, genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, mobility and fitness to identify​ and treat the cause of your child’s bone problems

Based on their needs, your child will have access to a skilled and coordinated team of doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians from many specialties.

What to Expect

Our treatment begins with your child’s bone evaluation, which takes about one day. Our team will help you through some or all of the following assessments on your first visit:

  • Medical and family history review
  • Lab studies
  • Urinalysis and urine testing
  • Dual-energy bone scan (DXA scan)
  • Bone age measure
  • Skeletal survey

Once the evaluation process is complete, you will have a family conference with members of the bone health team. They will discuss the results of the bone evaluation with you and present an individualized plan for your child’s treatment.


The Bone Health Program was established in 2011 under the guidance of Craig B. Langman, MD, co-director. Dr. Langman is an attending physician in kidney diseases and Professor of Kidney Diseases and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As a world-renowned expert in metabolic bone disease, he lectures widely while remaining active in patient care and research.

Joseph A. Janicki, MD, is an attending physician in orthopaedic surgery and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Feinberg School. He currently serves as the co-director of the Bone Health Program. He has a number of grant-funded bone health research initiatives.

Meghan C. Kostyk, APN, CPNP, CCD, is a pediatric nurse practitioner with the Division of Orthopaedics and an important resource for every family participating in the Bone Health Program. She is certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry.

Make an Appointment

Please call the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at 312.227.6190 to learn more about the program and how to make an appointment. You can also call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®) or 1.312.227.4030.

Learn More

Visit the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center to learn more about bone health.