Rickets is the softening and weakening of bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency. Rare inherited problems also can cause rickets.
Vitamin D helps your child's body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Not enough vitamin D makes it difficult to maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels in bones, which can cause rickets.
Adding vitamin D or calcium to the diet generally corrects the bone problems associated with rickets. When rickets is due to another underlying medical problem, your child may need additional medications or other treatment. Some skeletal deformities caused by rickets may require corrective surgery.
Rare inherited disorders related to low levels of phosphorus, the other mineral component in bone, may require other medications. Symptoms:
Signs and symptoms of rickets can include:
• Delayed growth
• Delayed motor skills
• Pain in the spine, pelvis and legs
• Muscle weakness
Because rickets softens the areas of growing tissue at the ends of a child's bones (growth plates), it can cause skeletal deformities such as:
• Bowed legs or knock knees
• Thickened wrists and ankles
• Breastbone projection
Courtesy: Mayo Clinic