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RICKETS

  • A condition that affects bone development in children.
    • Causes bone to become weak and soft, predisposing it to deformities.
  • In adults, this condition is known as osteomalacia.
  • Most common cause of the disease is the lack of vitamin D or calcium.
    • Vitamin D predominantly comes from exposing the skin to sunlight.
      • Also found in some foods, such as oily fish and eggs.
      • Vitamin D is essential for the formation of strong and healthy bones in children.
  • In rare cases, children can be born with a genetic form of rickets.
  • May also develop if there is another condition that affects the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Skeletal deformities
  • Dental problems
  • Poor growth and development
  • Fragile bones

These symptoms can also affect adults who have osteomalacia.

Some children with rickets may also have low levels of calcium in their blood (hypocalcaemia). This can make the symptoms of rickets worse and can also cause muscle cramps, twitching, tingling in the hands and feet, and fits.

DIAGNOSIS

Physician may do/request:

  • History & Physical Exam
  • Blood tests
  • X-ray
  • Bone density scan

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

  • Increasing Vitamin D and calcium levels by:
    • Intake of foods rich in Vitamin D and Calcium
    • Daily calcium and vitamin D supplements
    • Yearly Vitamin D injection
      • Only done if child cannot take supplements by mouth or has liver or intestinal disease
    • Increased exposure to sunlight
  • When rickets occurs as a complication of another medical condition, treating the underlying condition will often cure the rickets.
  • For bone deformities, corrective surgery may be recommended
  • For genetic rickets:
    • Combination of phosphate supplements and a special form of vitamin D
  • For osteomalacia:
    • Supplement treatment

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