By FootCareMD, Special for USDR
You may have heard that vitamin D helps build strong bones, but that’s only half the story. Several recent studies have found that taking vitamin D can decrease the risk of fractures, including fractures of the foot and ankle. And studies have shown that those with fractures who take vitamin D heal better.
So vitamin D plays a strong role in both avoiding and healing from fractures, but many people are not getting enough. In the United States, 30 percent of the population has a low vitamin D level. People with chronically low vitamin D are more likely to have low bone density and are more likely to break or fracture.
“For this reason, many doctors recommend testing a vitamin D level,” says Jeremy T. Smith, MD, an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist in Boston. “Vitamin D is measured from a blood test, and treatment of low vitamin D is typically with oral vitamin D and calcium.”
So who should have a vitamin D check? Anyone with a fracture related to fragile bones should speak with his or her primary doctor or orthopaedic surgeon about testing a vitamin D level. Also, patients at risk of low vitamin D should also speak with a doctor. Some medical conditions can lead to lower vitamin D.
To learn what level of vitamin D is considered low, or to read more about how vitamin D plays a role in bone health, visit the “How Vitamin D Affects Bone Health” page at FootCareMD.org.
About the AOFAS
The AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through the education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. The Society creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international health care communities.
About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. Relying on four years of medical school training, five years of post-graduate training and often a fellowship in orthopaedic foot and ankle care, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage and treat trauma of the foot and ankle.