Rickets is a softening of the bones that can lead to fractures and bone deformities. Rickets is specifically designed to describe a condition that affects children.

Vitamin D deficiency is the most common cause.  This can result from eating a diet without enough vitamin D, dark skin, too little sun exposure, exclusive breastfeeding without vitamin D supplementation, celiac disease, and certain genetic conditions.

When this condition or the mechanism of this condition affects adults it is referred to as Osteomalacia.

This condition is often be seen in developing countries such as the Middle East, Asia, Africa. It is far less common in the United States but can be seen among some minority groups.

Typically the condition begins between a few months to a few years. It is seen as often in males as females.

In most cases, treatment can be with either Vitamin D supplements or Sunlight.

Causes of Rickets?

–  Malnutrition
–  Famine
–  Starvation
–  Inadequate amounts of Vitamin D

Common Symptoms include:

–  Dental problems
–  Bone pain
–  Bone tenderness
–  Bone deformity
–  Muscle weakness
–  Growth changes
–  Soft skull
–  Low calcium
–  others


–  Blood tests for calcium, phosphorus are necessary
–  X-rays can show affected bones
–  Biopsy of bone occurs and can diagnose, but is done rarely


1.)  Increase sunlight exposure

2.)  Increase consumption of vitamin D sources

3.) Vitamin D supplements

***  –  with this condition,  child abuse may be suspected but is often unfounded.