Skin, muscle and joint disease from the 17th century: Scurvy

Herman Lau*, David Massasso, Fredrick Joshua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We report three cases of scurvy, with differing musculoskeletal presentations, from a tertiary teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia. Case 1 was a man with cerebral palsy who presented with knee swelling following a minor injury. In Case 2, a patient with thalassaemia major presented with purpuric rash, difficulty walking and distal thigh swelling and ecchymosis. Case 3 was a man with Down's syndrome who presented with acute ankle arthritis. Scurvy in Cases 1 and 3 were related to abnormal dietary preferences, whereas in Case 2, scurvy was thought to be related to thalassaemia. All three cases responded rapidly to vitamin C replacement. The subjects did not appear malnourished as they had adequate carbohydrate and protein intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Ascorbic acid deficiency
  • Haemostatic disorder
  • Nutrition
  • Scurvy
  • Vitamin C deficiency


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