A. Raimann and D.-A. Ertl are co-first authors.
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The heterogeneity of “rare bone disorders” can be explained by the number of molecules and regulatory pathways which are responsible for bone health and normal stature. In this article, the most important basic principles behind bone homeostasis from development to structure and regulation of the growing skeleton are summarized. The aim is to provide the reader with some theoretical background to understand the nature of the different main groups of disorders affecting bone stability, longitudinal growth and disturbances of calcium and phosphate homeostasis.