Medical Awareness >>   Rickets



Rickets is a condition where the bones are softened and weakened in children, generally because of an intense and prolonged vitamin D deficiency. Rare hereditary problems can also be the cause of rickets.

Insufficient vitamin D intake via food imbalances calcium and phosphorus levels in bones, causing rickets.

Intake of vitamin D or calcium in food generally fixes the bone problems associated with rickets. When it is due to other underlying medical issues, further medications or other treatment may be needed. A few skeletal deformities may require corrective surgery.

Unusual inherited disorders concerning low phosphorus levels in bone may need other medications.


Symptoms of rickets may involve:

  • Growth delayed
  • Motor skills delayed
  • Spine, pelvis and legs pain
  • Weakness in the muscles

As rickets softens the growing tissue areas at the ends of a child's bones, skeletal deformities like the below can be caused:

  • Bowed legs or knock knees
  • Thickened wrists and ankles
  • Breastbone projection


Most cases of rickets can be handled with vitamin D and calcium supplements. It is essential to monitor the levels as even too much vitamin D can be harmful.

X-rays and blood tests will be used to monitor the progress of a child.

For an uncommon inherited disorder causing low phosphorus content, other medications may be prescribed.

Special bracing may be prescribed for some bowleg or spinal deformities to position the body appropriately as the bones grow. More rigid skeletal deformities might require surgical intervention.

Fact Sheet

Frequency: Vitamin D deficiency rickets is more common in babyhood, and calcium deficiency rickets is more common in childhood, especially in India.

PGC Resolution: To put an end to rickets in India by spreading knowledge and information, creating awareness, and providing facilities to cure the existing cases.