Rickets signs and symptoms in children

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The most important rickets symptoms and signs are bone deformity and pain in the bone
A number of skeletal, muscular and dental symptoms are observed in children in this disease.

Early rickets symptoms and signs

The initial symptoms are poor sleep, restlessness, profuse sweating in the head even in winter.
Then digestive disorders like unnaturally high appetite, stomach upsets, diarrhea and bloated abdomen can be seen as further rickets signs.
The patient's feeling of weakness, dullness, loss of weight, getting easily tired, and complains of pain in the bones, joints and muscles are tell-tale rickets symptoms.

Further signs of rickets

The bodies of the affected children become flabby and their muscles becoming flabby and weak. These children have unhealthy skin, sometimes with offensive smell, which can get infected easily causing secondary problems.
The rickets affected may suffer from tetany (uncontrolled muscle spasm) and seizures. Low levels of serum calcium causes tetany.
The ends of the ribs get enlarged and resemble beads (rachitic beads) which are visible and felt at the junction with sternum.
The affected children show symptoms of Harrison grove, a horizontal line seen at the margin of the thorax where the ribs are attached to diaphragm. The pulling of the sternum gives rise to pigeon-chest deformity.
Mild to predominant Scoliosis (curving from side to side) of spine is seen in affected children. The softening of the vertebrae leads to kyphosis (hunchback).
Scoliosis of spine
The weight bearing long bones in the legs get bent and bow-legs or knock-knees occur as signs of the disease in affected children. The bend may cause fracture on one side and this is called greenstick fracture.
In the rickets affected thickening of skull occurs producing frontal bossing and delaying the anterior fontanelle closure giving square forehead look; typical rickets signs.
Radiography shows symptoms like flaring and cupping of the metaphyses of the long bones in the affected children.
These affected persons lose their weight and show increase in vascularity. This hyperemia (increase in blood flow) affects all bones, cartilages, morrow, resulting in irregular and retarded growth of bones and cartilage cell proliferation.
In young affected children the teeth may erupt very late. They may have irregular shape and the enamel may be defective and caries and cavities may occur; another of typical rickets signs.
The rickets affected may show delay in crawling, sitting up and walking. In severe cases there may be respiratory failure in children.
Observing these signs, diagnosis of rickets can be done by visual observations, blood test, urine test and x-ray. If detected early all rickets symptoms can be resolved completely.

Related topics:
Osteomalacia (in adults)

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Signs and symptoms of rickets in children