The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that vitamin D is essential for helping the body to retain calcium so that bones can grow and strengthen. However, low levels of vitamin D could cause bones to break, as they may become brittle and thin.
In fact, new research shows that a high percentage of patients who are scheduled to undergo orthopaedic surgery do not consume enough vitamin D.
Joseph M. Lane, one of the researchers involved with the study, said that "given the importance of vitamin D in musculoskeletal health and its role in bone healing following orthopaedic procedures, low levels may negatively impact patient outcomes."
According to the study, which was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the researchers used 723 patients who were to have surgery in various service areas. This included knee and hip replacement, hand fractures, foot and ankle, trauma, sports medicine and vertebral compression fractures.
The scientists concluded that 28 percent of the participants had insufficient levels of vitamin D, while another 15 percent had a clinical deficiency.
Overall, two out of five patients were at risk for developing metabolic bone disease as a result of low levels of vitamin D.