ABC Medical Center > Rickets

What is Rickets?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition that softens and weakens the bone system of infants, usually caused by a severe and chronic deficiency of vitamin D, as well as by some genetic disorders in certain rare cases.

Remember that vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the food we eat, so if there are low levels of this vitamin, the body can’t absorb the necessary amounts of these chemical elements, causing rickets.

In general, the prescription of vitamin D and calcium supplements is enough to reverse bone damage due to rickets, but if the direct cause is an underlying disease, it is necessary to treat it in parallel.

In cases where there are already deformed bones, it will be necessary to resort to a surgical procedure to correct them.

Diseases that hinder vitamin D absorption:

  • Celiac Disease.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Signs and symptoms Rickets

It is characterized by:

  • Slow and insufficient growth.
  • Poor motor skills.
  • Sore spine, pelvis, and lower limbs.
  • Poor muscle strength.
  • Bowlegged.
  • Thick wrists and ankles.
  • Protruding sternum.

Rickets potential risks:

  • Slow and insufficient growth.
  • Curved spine.
  • Deformed bones.
  • Dental abnormalities.
  • Convulsive episodes.

Diagnosis and treatment Rickets

Once your child’s symptoms and clinical history have been analyzed, the doctor will perform a comprehensive physical examination, paying special attention to the bones of the skull, chest, and limbs, to detect any damage they may have suffered.

They will also take X-rays of your child’s damaged bones to see the extent of the damage, as well as perform blood and urine tests to confirm vitamin D deficiency.

The treatment to follow in most cases consists of the prescription of vitamin D and calcium supplements, but if your child suffers from a disease that causes this vitamin deficiency, it will be necessary to treat it in parallel.

In serious cases where bone deformities are serious, the alternatives are corrective surgery and the use of orthopedic devices.

At the Pediatric Center, we provide specialized care to small patients from the moment of birth until they become adults, through our pediatric care, oncology, neurology, and cardiology services at the level of the best medical centers in the world.

How to prevent it:

To have adequate vitamin D levels, 5 or 10 minutes of daily exposure to sunlight is necessary, in addition to including in your child’s diet foods such as eggs, salmon, and tuna, or products added with vitamin D.


  • kidshealth.org
  • topdoctors.es
  • healthychildren.org
  • mayoclinic.org
  • stanfordchildrens.org
  • medigraphic.com
  • Olalde HM, López HA, Guzmán FA, et al. Tratamiento ortopédico del raquitismo hipofosfatémico presentado en una niña de 12 años: a propósito de un caso. Rev Mex Ortop Ped. 2018;20(2):89-92.
  • Santana HEE, Rodríguez FEG. Raquitismo hipofosfatémico. Presentación de un caso. Medisur. 2018;16(1):90-94.
  • Velásquez-Jones L, Medeiros-Domingo M. Raquitismos hipofosfatémicos hereditarios. Bol Med Hosp Infant Mex. 2013;70(6):421-431.
  • Mendoza ZV, Reza AAA. Vitamina D: Más allá del tratamiento de las enfermedades óseas. Rev Endocrinol Nutr. 2009;17(1):4-6.

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