What are Rickets and Osteomalacia?

Rickets is a disease of growing children that affects how the growth plates of the bones develop. Rickets can cause bowing of the legs and bone pain. It can also increase a child’s risk of fracture (broken bone).

Osteomalacia affects both children and adults and is a disease in which the bones don’t contain enough bone mineral (mostly calcium and phosphate). Like rickets, osteomalacia can cause bone pain and increase the risk of fracture.

These two conditions are closely linked – usually a child with rickets will also have osteomalacia.

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Rev. 7/2019. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this webpage. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.