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Rickets: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment


Rickets is a skeletal disorder caused by the deficiency of vitamin D, calcium or phosphate. Reduced absorption of calcium and phosphorus occurs due to the lack of vitamin D.

India experiences more 10 million cases per year. Rickets is rare in the United States. [1]

- Not self-treatable
- Not self-diagnosable
- Lab tests or imaging are required
- Chronic: persists for years or can be lifelong

People suffering from rickets may have:
- Weak and soft bones
- Stunted growth
- Skeletal deformities

Most common in children who are between 0.5 to 3 years old. It is also known as Osteomalacia.

Most vulnerable:
- Children: Children who are between 6 and 36 months old
- Diet: Children consuming a vegetarian diet lacking eggs, fish and meat
- Skin color: Children with dark skin
- Geographic location: Children living in areas with little sunlight
- Genes: Due to inherited genes


Self-diagnosable: Pain in the bones and muscle cramps

Medical diagnosis:
- Tenderness in the bones
- Stunted growth and bone fractures
- Teeth deformities
- Skeletal deformities such as bow legs, curved spine, pelvic deformities and protruding breastbone etc.


Diagnosis: Physical examination may be done by the doctor to check for the presence of pain and tenderness in the bones by slightly pressing on them.
Other tests include:
- Blood tests to check the level of calcium and phosphate in the blood
- X-Ray to check for the bone deformities
- In rare cases, a bone biopsy can be performed


Increasing exposure to sunlight to maintain the level of vitamin D in the body. Encouragement to increase consumption of foods such as fish, eggs, liver and meat.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements may be taken as prescribed by the doctor. In the presence of skeletal deformities, braces may be recommended. In severe cases, the patient may require corrective surgery.

For further concern, contact a doctor or an orthopaedist. At mfine, you will receive a holistic treatment plan for optimum health.

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