Diagnosis

During the exam, the doctor will gently press on your child's bones, checking for abnormalities. He or she will pay particular attention to your child's:

  • Skull. Babies who have rickets often have softer skull bones and might have a delay in the closure of the soft spots (fontanels).
  • Legs. While even healthy toddlers are a little bowlegged, an exaggerated bowing of the legs is common with rickets.
  • Chest. Some children with rickets develop abnormalities in their rib cages, which can flatten and cause their breastbones to protrude.
  • Wrists and ankles. Children who have rickets often have wrists and ankles that are larger or thicker than normal.

X-rays of the affected bones can reveal bone deformities. Blood and urine tests can confirm a diagnosis of rickets and also monitor the progress of treatment.

May 24, 2016
References
  1. Rickets. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00577. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  2. Carpenter T. Overview of rickets in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  3. Carpenter T. Etiology and treatment of calcipenic rickets in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  4. Elder CJ, et al. Rickets. The Lancet. 2014;383:1665.
  5. Misra M. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  6. Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-QuickFacts. Accessed March 23, 2016.
  7. Vitamin D supplementation for infants. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Vitamin-D-Supplementation-for-Infants.aspx. Accessed March 23, 2016.