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What is Osteomalacia?

When it comes to an orthopedic surgeon, Fox Valley residents from Green Bay to Oshkosh might see this type of doctor for a number of reasons. Osteomalacia is a condition that affects your bones and it is important that it is addressed promptly. If your doctor suspects you have this condition, he or she will likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist since they have more specialized knowledge of this condition and the bones in general.

Exploring the Basics

This is a condition where the bones can become soft. This is generally due to the bone-maturing process in the body not working as it should. This prevents the bones from getting strong. These issues can result from a variety of factors, such as:

  • Certain surgeries that affect the stomach
  • Liver or kidney disorders
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Celiac disease
  • Certain drugs

Looking at the Symptoms

Many people do not have any noticeable symptoms in the early stages of this condition. Muscle weakness and bone pain are possible as the condition starts to get worse. The pain is often described as aching and dull. It is often worse when there is pressure on any of the affected bones and at night. Rest usually does not alleviate the pain. In most cases, the pain is felt in the pelvis, legs, lower back, hips and ribs. As the disease continues, you might experience leg weakness and a decrease in muscle tone. Both of these can make it seem like you are waddling when you are walking. It can also result in walking becoming more difficult and much slower.

Diagnostic Methods

It is critical that you get an accurate diagnosis, but this condition is not always easy to identify. There are several tests that your doctor might recommend to help diagnose this condition:

  • X-rays to look for small bone cracks that are characteristic of this condition
  • Urine and blood testing to look at your levels of vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium
  • Bone biopsy, but this is often not necessary

Treatment Options

In many cases, the right level of vitamin D supplementation is enough to cure this condition. Your doctor will prescribe the vitamin D supplements and you will usually take them for a number of weeks. Any condition that might have affected your nutrient levels will also be diagnosed and treated. After your bones are restored to their normal state of health, you might have to continue with supplementation to prevent recurrence.

You can see that osteomalacia can be a serious condition and if you have it, it is important that you are diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. An orthopedic surgeon can help you to explore your options in terms of the best treatment for you.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.