Over the last several years clinical correlation studies have shown the below normal Vitamin D levels (hypovitaminosis D) may contribute to a variety of health problems from cardiac conditions to cancer. Cited sources describe Vitamin D deficiency as a “worldwide epidemic” with an estimated one billion people having inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups. Yet it is an often overlooked component in the treatment of foot and ankle injuries and chronic foot and ankle pain.
In the foot and ankle, stress fractures of the metatarsal bones and ankle may be seen in those with Vitamin D deficiency, as well as generalized foot pain. The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency has been identified as one of the most common causes of fragility fractures and poor fracture healing. Healthy amounts of vitamin D are a critical factor in orthopedic healing and the healing of reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle.
As specialists in the foot and ankle we see a variety of bone, joint, musculoskeletal and neurological problems of the lower extremity with systematic manifestations such as diabetes, arthritis and other metabolic disorders effected by low levels of Vitamin D. Patients with various –itis (inflammations) such as capsulitis and persistent and recurring tendonitis often test in the lower limits of normal for optimum levels of Vitamin D.
Inadequate dietary intake, a lack of sunlight exposure, certain metabolic disorders and disorders that affect your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D can result in a deficiency. With an increasing knowledge of the health consequences of low levels of Vitamin D, doctors can benefit their patients by identifying those who are deficient and require therapeutic supplementation.