The bone mineral density of the lumbar spine was assessed in nine non-ambulant children with cerebral palsy combined with measurements of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and urinary calcium excretion. Three children with recurrent fractures received treatment with bisphosphonates for periods ranging from 12-18 months. All the children demonstrated a severe reduction in bone mineral density even when allowance was made for their body weight. There were no consistent abnormalities of vitamin D or parathyroid hormone status. Three children had gross hypercalciuria. Each of the children treated with bisphosphonates demonstrated an increment in bone density ranging from 20-40% with no apparent adverse effects.