Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
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New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Rickets is a rare bone disease. It causes bones to soften and weaken.
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Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate in the body. This may happen due to:
Rickets is more common in children who:
Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your child's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to suspect rickets.
The diagnosis may be confirmed with:
The underlying cause will need to be treated. The goals of treatment are to relieve or reverse symptoms.
Vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate supplements will be given. Children with severe symptoms may need surgery to correct bony deformities.
To lower the risk of rickets:
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
The Hospital for Sick Children—About Kids Health
Mughal MZ. Rickets. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2011 Dec;9(4):291-299.
Rickets. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/rickets. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Rickets. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/rickets.html. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Vitamin D deficiency in children (infancy through adolescence). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-children-infancy-through-adolescence. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 4/23/2021