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Osteomalacia in subtropical Auckland
  1. Ravi K Narang and
  2. Ian Reid
  1. Bone and Joint Research Group, Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ravi K Narang, r.narang{at}


A 56-year-old man was referred with left-sided hip pain. MRI scans demonstrated an undisplaced stress fracture in the femoral neck and subchondral oedema within the femoral head. Bone densitometry showed T-scores of −2.0 at the spine, −3.5 at the femoral neck and −2.4 for the total hip. Laboratory tests revealed 25-hydroxyvitamin D <10 nmol/L. He was prescribed a 10-day course of calciferol 1.25 mg (50 000 IU)/day and started on calcium carbonate 1.25 g twice daily. Following the correction of vitamin D deficiency, his symptoms resolved. A striking feature of this patient was the complete reversal of ‘osteoporosis’ within 14 months with vitamin D and calcium supplementation. Bone mineral densities (BMDs) increased by 19.5% and 33.4% at the spine and hip, respectively. Such changes are never seen with conventional pharmacological management of osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency should be considered as a cause for reduced BMD in people with risk factors.

  • calcium and bone
  • endocrine system
  • musculoskeletal and joint disorders
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  • Contributors IR reviewed the patient and was the lead clinician in managing the patient. RKN drafted the case report, and IR revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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