How is osteomalacia diagnosed?

There are various tests that can be performed to determine if someone has osteomalacia.

  • The most important indicator is low levels of vitamin D, but low levels of calcium or a significant drop in phosphate levels may also indicate osteomalacia.
  • X-rays may be taken to see if there is any evidence of osteomalacia.
  • A bone mineral density scan may be helpful in evaluating the amount of calcium and other minerals present in a patient’s bone segment. These scans are not required to make the diagnosis of osteomalacia. However, they may give important information about a patient’s bone health.

Rarely, the doctor may perform a bone biopsy, in which a sample of bone tissue is taken and examined.