Diagnosis

Osteomalacia can be difficult to diagnose. To pinpoint the cause and to rule out other bone disorders, such as osteoporosis, you might undergo one or more of the following tests:

  • Blood and urine tests. These help detect low levels of vitamin D and problems with calcium and phosphorus.
  • X-rays. Slight cracks in your bones that are visible on X-rays are characteristic of osteomalacia.
  • Bone biopsy. Using general anesthesia, a surgeon inserts a slender needle through your skin and into your pelvic bone above the hip to withdraw a small sample of bone. Although a bone biopsy is accurate in detecting osteomalacia, it's rarely needed to make the diagnosis.
April 29, 2017
References
  1. Drezner MK. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of osteomalacia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 18, 2016.
  2. Osteomalacia. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/7285/osteomalacia. Accessed Dec. 18, 2016.
  3. Chen J, et al. Vitamin D deficiency and sub-clinical osteomalacia in axial spondyloarthropathy. Rheumatology. 2016;6:1.
  4. Bhan A, et al. Osteomalacia as a result of vitamin D deficiency. Rheumatology Disease Clinics of North America. 2012;38:81.
  5. Menkes CJ. Epidemiology and etiology of osteomalacia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 18, 2016.
  6. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Chevy Chase, Md.: The Endocrine Society. http://www.endocrine.org/education-and-practice-management/clinical-practice-guidelines. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.
  7. Vitamin D. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/vitamin-d-and-uv-exposure. Accessed Dec. 19, 2016.