In his recent monograph on rickets, Hess1 states that: "Craniotabes is valuable in establishing the diagnosis of rickets, but, unless the course of the softening has been followed for several months it is often difficult to differentiate it from the craniotabes encountered in very young infants. Whether bowed legs are always due to rickets is by no means certain; it is a deformity that may appear after all other signs have disappeared, or, at times, in overweight children who have manifested no other signs of rickets."
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Since craniotabes develops in many infants suffering from rickets, it is frequently taken for granted that it is pathognomonic of the disease. Kassowitz2 was strongly of this opinion, and believed he could cure it by the administration of phosphorus. There is, however, a softening of the cranial bones in young and premature infants, first described by Elsasser3
BARENBERG LH, BLOOMBERG MW. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CRANIOTABES AND BOWING OF THE LEGS. Am J Dis Child. 1924;28(6):716-726. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1924.04120240059007