Overview

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.

Osteomalacia differs from the more-common condition of having a low vitamin D level. Osteomalacia also differs from osteoporosis, which causes bone thinning.

Treatment for osteomalacia involves providing enough vitamin D and calcium, both required to harden and strengthen (mineralize) bones, and treating underlying disorders that might cause the condition.

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.