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Rickets



Rickets Causes


Common symptoms of rickets include tenderness and pain in the bones, dental deformities, muscle weakness, predisposition to fractures (easily broken bones), skeletal deformities, normal growth disruptions, hypocalcemia, soft skull (craniotabes), uncontrolled muscle spasms (tetany), Harrison's groove, and double malleoli resulting from metaphyseal hyperplasia. Among toddlers with advanced rickets, bow legs can be observed in x-rays or radiographs. A deformed chest is also quite common among affected children. Skeletal deformities can present as a “square headed” appearance. If untreated, these deformities may persist into adult life. Long-term symptoms can include permanent disfiguration of the long bones and a distinctly curved back.


Rickets Definition


Rickets is a disease characterized by the softening of the bones in children, which can potentially lead to fractures and deformity. Although rickets can affect adults, most documented cases are those of malnourished or undernourished children living in developing countries.


Rickets Diagnosis


Blood tests showing abnormally low serum calcium, low serum phosphorous, and high serum alkaline phosphatase can lead to a diagnosis of rickets. Another clinical sign is metabolic acidosis in arterial blood gases. An X-ray can also be done to determine affected bones with distinct changes in shape or structure. A bone biopsy is also sometimes done to confirm the diagnosis.


Rickets Symptoms and Signs


Common symptoms of rickets include tenderness and pain in the bones, dental deformities, muscle weakness, predisposition to fractures (easily broken bones), skeletal deformities, normal growth disruptions, hypocalcemia, soft skull (craniotabes), uncontrolled muscle spasms (tetany), Harrison's groove, and double malleoli resulting from metaphyseal hyperplasia. Among toddlers with advanced rickets, bow legs can be observed in x-rays or radiographs. A deformed chest is also quite common among affected children. Skeletal deformities can present as a “square headed” appearance. If untreated, these deformities may persist into adult life. Long-term symptoms can include permanent disfiguration of the long bones and a distinctly curved back.


Rickets Treatment


Treatment for rickets focuses on increasing the patient's dietary intake of phosphates, calcium, and of course, vitamin D. A patient is usually exposed to cod liver oil, viosterol, halibut-liver oil, and sunshine (ultraviolet light), which are all sources of vitamin D.


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