What kind of disease is osteomalacia?

What kind of disease is osteomalacia?

Osteomalacia refers to a marked softening of your bones, most often caused by severe vitamin D deficiency. The softened bones of children and young adults with osteomalacia can lead to bowing during growth, especially in weight-bearing bones of the legs. Osteomalacia in older adults can lead to fractures.

What is osteomalacia also called?

The impairment of bone metabolism causes inadequate bone mineralization. Osteomalacia in children is known as rickets, and because of this, use of the term “osteomalacia” is often restricted to the milder, adult form of the disease.

What are osteomalacia symptoms?

What are the symptoms of osteomalacia?

  • pain felt in the bones and joints.
  • muscle pain and weakness, particularly following exercise.
  • bones that break more easily, particularly those in the hips, lower back and feet.
  • difficulty walking and a change in how you walk – possibly with a waddle.
  • muscle cramps.

Is osteomalacia a rickets?

Contents. Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in children. It causes bone pain, poor growth and soft, weak bones that can lead to bone deformities. Adults can experience a similar condition, which is known as osteomalacia or soft bones.

How do you diagnose osteomalacia?


  • Blood and urine tests. These help detect low levels of vitamin D and problems with calcium and phosphorus.
  • X-rays. Structural changes and slight cracks in your bones that are visible on X-rays are characteristic of osteomalacia.
  • Bone biopsy.

How is osteomalacia diagnosed?

The amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the body can be measured with a blood test. Your doctor may also order X-rays of the affected bones. In rare cases, a small sample of bone tissue may be taken. The bone same is then looked at under a microscope to confirm osteomalacia or rickets.

What are the long term effects of osteomalacia?

What can I expect in the long term? If left untreated, osteomalacia can lead to broken bones and severe deformity. There are various treatment options available to help manage the conditions. You may see improvements in a few weeks if you increase your intake of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus.

What does the word osteomalacia mean in medical terms?

The word osteomalacia means “soft bones.” The condition keeps your bones from mineralizing, or hardening, as they should. That makes them weak and more likely to bend and break. Only adults have it. When the same thing happens in children, it’s called rickets. Osteomalacia is more common in women and often happens…

How did osteomalacia become a common childhood illness?

The condition is called osteomalacia when the bone softening occurs after the growth plates have closed. Rickets was a common childhood illness in North America until the 1940s, when it was discovered that vitamin D, readily available from sunlight (which produces vitamin D in the body) and vitamin D-enriched milk, prevented this condition.

How are rickets and osteomalacia related in adults?

Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in children. It causes bone pain, poor growth and soft, weak bones that can lead to bone deformities. Adults can experience a similar condition, which is known as osteomalacia or soft bones. Read more about the signs and symptoms of rickets and osteomalacia. What causes rickets?

What causes bones to bend and crack in osteomalacia?

In osteomalacia more and more bone is made up of collagen matrix without a mineral covering, so the bones become soft. These softened bones may bend and crack, and this can be very painful. There are rarer types of osteomalacia. These are usually due to problems in the kidneys which result in loss of phosphorous from the body.

What should I do about my osteomalacia?

Fortunately, getting enough vitamin D through oral supplements for several weeks to months can cure osteomalacia. To maintain normal blood levels of vitamin D, you’ll likely have to continue taking the supplements. Your health care provider might also recommend that you increase your calcium or phosphorus intake, either through supplements or diet.

Is osteomalacia and rickets the same thing?

Rickets and osteomalacia describe a spectrum of metabolic disorders with similar histopathologic and radiologic abnormalities, which result from inadequate or delayed mineralization of newly synthesized organic matrix (osteoid) in mature bone (osteomalacia) or growing bone (rickets). In other words, rickets and osteomalacia reflect the same disease process with different ages of onset.

How does osteomalacia affect the body?

Osteomalacia causes the bones to become soft, which can lead to pain and bone deformity. Bones need calcium and phosphate to stay strong, and without the proper levels of vitamin D in the body, bones are unable to absorb enough calcium and phosphate minerals to remain healthy.

What is the difference between osteomalacia and rickets?

As nouns the difference between osteomalacia and rickets is that osteomalacia is (medicine) a softening of adult bones due to inadequate mineralization; the adult equivalent of rickets while rickets is (pathology) a disorder of infancy and early childhood caused by a deficiency of vitamin d, causing soft bones.