Rickets is a condition that results in weak or soft bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency or some rare inherited problems.
Due to the vitamin D deficiency, its effects on general development, weak and soft bones, children with rickets can have:
Delayed growth and motor skills, Muscle weakness, Bowed legs or knock knees, Thickened wrists and ankles, dental defects and general bone deformities.
Some of these leg deformities c an be as a result of Rickets (Vit D Deficiency), or idiopathic or some other causes:
Genu Varum (Bow Leg)
Denotes the varus angular deformity of the knee joint, where the leg is bowing outwards at the knee, while the lower leg is angled medially.
Genu varum is physiologic (normal) in neonates and infants, but if it persists into childhood, then it is abnormal.
There are a few other causes apart from Rickets.
Genu Valgum (Knock Knee or K-Leg)
denotes the valgus deformity of the knee, where the lower leg is bending outwards in relation to the axis of the femur.
Rickets is also a common cause
windswept deformity”: appearance of abnormal valgus deformity in one knee in association with varus deformity in the other.
Some deformities like Genu Recurvatum are NOT linked to Rickets, they are caused by other conditions.
Most cases of rickets can be treated with vitamin D and calcium supplements at a young age by a doctor.
Vitamin D Deficiency can be from inadequate diet, Inadequate exposure to sunlight, malabsorption or metabolic problems.
Exposure to sunlight provides the best source of vitamin D. Moderately to avoid damage to the skin by sunlight, or even cancer.
Make sure your child eats foods that contain vitamin D naturally — fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, fish oil and egg yolks — or food that have been fortified with vitamin D, after they are weaned from exclusive breastfeeding of 6 complete months.
Mothers too should be adequately nourished in pregnancy.
But, check with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements in pregnancy.