Medical Definition of Osteomalacia

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Osteomalacia: Softening of bone, particularly in the sense of bone weakened by demineralization (the loss of mineral) and most notably by the depletion of calcium from bone.

Osteomalacia may be caused by poor dietary intake or poor absorption of calcium and other minerals needed to harden bones. Osteomalacia is a characteristic feature of vitamin D deficiency in adults.

The treatment of osteomalacia is by dietary change. Hormone supplements may also be helpful for post-menopausal women.

From the Greek osteo- (bone) + malakia (softness) = softness of bone.

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