Osteomalacia refers to a softening of your bones, often caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Soft bones are more likely to bow and fracture than are harder, healthy bones.

Osteomalacia is not the same as osteoporosis, another bone disorder that also can lead to bone fractures. Osteomalacia results from a defect in the bone-building process, while osteoporosis develops due to a weakening of previously constructed bone.

Muscle weakness and achy bone pain are the major symptoms of osteomalacia. Treatment for osteomalacia involves replenishing low levels of vitamin D and calcium and treating any underlying disorders that may be causing the deficiencies.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

In the early stages, you may have no osteomalacia symptoms, although signs of osteomalacia may be apparent on X-ray pictures or other diagnostic tests. As osteomalacia worsens, you may experience bone pain and muscle weakness.

The dull, aching pain associated with osteomalacia most commonly affects the lower back, pelvis, hips, legs and ribs. The pain may be worse at night, or when you're putting weight on affected bones.

Decreased muscle tone and leg weakness may cause a waddling gait and make it difficult for you to get around.

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