[osteo- + -malacia]
An abnormality of new bone formation (osteoid) causing bones to become increasingly soft, flexible, brittle, and deformed. An adult form of rickets, osteomalacia can also be traced to liver disease, cancer, or other ailments that inhibit the normal metabolism of vitamin D.
The disease is often caused by any of the many vitamin D-deficiency disorders or diseases in which there is resistance to the effect of vitamin D on the skeleton, or by deranged phosphorus metabolism, chronic kidney disease, or renal tubular acidosis (among other more rare illnesses).
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
Clinical findings include bone and joint pains, e.g., in the limbs, lumbar spine, thorax, and pelvis; fractures; anemia; impaired gait, and progressive weakness.
Affected bones have a classical appearance on radiological imaging.
Ergocalciferol and calcium are given as nutritional supplements to patients with vitamin D-deficient diets.
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