Overview

Rickets is the softening and weakening of bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gastrointestinal tract. A deficiency of vitamin D makes it difficult to maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels in bones, which can cause rickets.

Adding vitamin D or calcium to the diet generally corrects the bone problems associated with rickets. When rickets are due to another underlying medical problem, your child may need additional medications or other treatment. Some skeletal deformities caused by rickets may require corrective surgery.