Paget disease is a bone condition that
results in enlarged and deformed bones. It is a
condition. Any bone in the body can be affected. However, the most common sites are the spine, skull, pelvis, thighs, and lower legs.
Normal Bone Structure
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Paget disease is caused by a malfunction in bone formation. Normally, bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. With Paget disease, bones are broken down abnormally fast, and new bone replacement is loose and bulky, instead of strong and compact. These poorly formed bones may become weak. They also may bend over time.
The exact cause of this bone malformation is unknown. About one third of cases are genetic, due to a gene mutation. Paget disease may be triggered early in life by a viral infection.
Paget's disease is more common in people of Northern European descent and those who are 55 years of age and older.
Other factors that may increase your risk of Paget's disease include: Having a family history, especially in a parent, sibling, or childHaving a specific gene called SQSTM1Smoking
Most people with Paget disease don't have symptoms. For those with symptoms, Paget disease may cause: Chronic bone pain, especially in the legs, hips, or spineSwelling or deformity of bones in the limbsBroken bonesBowing of a limbPain or loss of sensation from pressure on nerves
Paget disease that involves the skull may cause: Increased head sizeHeadachesFacial painHearing loss
Paget disease doesn't spread to other bones, but the symptoms do get worse over time. It may also be associated with arthritis, heart disease, kidney stones, loose teeth, and nervous system problems.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will order blood tests.
Imaging tests take pictures of internal body structures. These are done with: X-raysBone scanMRI scanCT scan
It is best to begin treatment as soon as possible, sometimes before symptoms develop. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
Medications for Paget disease include: Pain medications, such as
acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)Bisphosphonates to prevent the loss of bone mass and keep the disease from getting worseCalcitonin to regulate calcium levels and assist in the bone building process
Surgery may be required if you have one of the following conditions: Bone fractureSevere degenerative arthritisBone deformity
Recommendations include: Taking calcium and vitamin D supplementsRegular exercise
to maintain skeletal health, joint mobility, and normal body weight
Avoiding excess mechanical stress on involved bonesA splint for an area at high risk of fracture
There are no current guidelines to prevent the onset of Paget disease. People with primary family members who have Paget disease are encouraged to have a
blood test every 2-3 years after age 40.
Albagha OM, Genetic Determinants of Paget's Disease
(GDPD) Consortium. Genome-wide association identifies three new susceptibility loci for Paget's disease of bone.
Michou L, Brown JP. Emerging strategies and therapies for treatment of Paget's disease of bone.
Drug Des Devel Ther.
Paget disease of bone. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 10, 2015. Accessed May 11, 2016.
Schneider D, Hofmann MT, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of Paget's disease of bone.
Am Fam Physician. 2002;15;65(10):2069-72.
What is Paget's disease of bone? NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Pagets/pagets_disease_ff.asp. Updated November 2014. Accessed May 11, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.