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What is Rickets?

Rickets is a bone condition caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus in the body, which are all vital components of healthy bones. This condition is characterized by weak bones and bone deformities. Rickets may be inherited, or develop when the body does not get enough vitamin D or is unable to effectively process the available vitamin D. Children with a poor diet and low calcium intake, lactose intolerance, lack of exposure to sunlight or dark skin are at a higher risk of developing rickets. Babies feeding exclusively on breast milk for a long time are also highly susceptible to rickets as breast milk contains very low amounts of vitamin D.

Symptoms of Rickets

The symptoms of rickets include:

  • Weak muscles
  • Seizures
  • Decreased growth and slow development
  • Drowsiness
  • Widening of the ankle and wrist bones
  • Bowed legs
  • Deformities in the ribs and chest
  • Stooped or bent posture

Diagnosis of Rickets

Rickets is diagnosed by your physician based on your child’s symptoms and conducting a thorough physical examination. Your doctor may also order X-rays to detect the exact location of fractures caused by the condition, and blood tests to check the levels of calcium and vitamin D.

Immediate healing from rickets can be achieved with adequate vitamin D supplementation and calcium-rich foods. Inherited rickets is treated with hormonal therapy. Rickets can be prevented by maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D and including calcium-rich foods.

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Pediatric Orthopaedics Clinic locations

  • Primary Children's Hospital (PCH)

    100 N. Mario Capecchi Drive
    Suite 4550,
    Salt Lake City, UT  84113

    Tel :

  • Riverton Primary Children's Hospital (Riverton)

    3773 W. 12600 S.
    Suite 302,
    Riverton, UT  84065

    Tel :

  • Utah Valley Outpatient Center (Provo)

    1157 N. 300 W.
    Suite 302,
    Provo, UT 84604

    Tel :

  • Layton Intermountain Hospital (Layton)

    201 W. Layton Parkway,
    Suite 3B,
    Layton, UT 84041

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Missoula MT

    2360 Mullan Rd
    Suite C,
    Missoula MT 59808

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - St. George

    1380 E Medical Center Drive,
    Bldg 1; St.
    George UT 84790

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Moab

    Moab Regional Hosp,
    450 Williams Way,
    Moab UT 84532

    Tel :

  • Outreach Clinic - Blanding

    San Juan Health Dept.,
    735 S 200 W Ste 2,
    Blanding UT 84511

    Tel :

  • Outreach clinic - Vernal

    Tricounty Health Dept.,
    133 S 500 E,
    Vernal UT 84078

    Tel :