Paget's 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
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Paget's disease is caused by a malfunction in bone formation. Normally, bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. With Paget's 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. Paget's disease may be triggered early in life by a viral infection.
Paget's disease is more common in people who: Have a family history, especially in a parent, sibling, or childAre of Northern European decentAre aged 55 years or olderSmoke
Most people with Paget's disease don't have symptoms. For those with symptoms, Paget's disease may cause: Chronic bone pain, especially legs, hips, or spineSwelling or deformity of a limbBroken bonesBowing of a limbDamaged cartilage in the joints
Paget's disease that involves the skull may cause: Increased head sizeHeadachesFacial painHearing loss
Paget's disease doesn't spread to other bones, but the symptoms do get worse over time.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will order a blood test.
Imaging tests take pictures of internal body structures. These are done with: X-raysBone scan
It is best to begin treatment as soon as possible. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
Medications for Paget's disease include: Pain medications, such as
acetaminophen, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)BisphosphonatesCalcitonin
Surgery may be required if you have one of the following conditions: Bone fractureSevere degenerative arthritisBone deformity
Recommendations include: Calcium, usually about 1,000-1,500 mg per dayIntake of adequate
vitamin D, usually about 400 mg per day (older people may need more)Regular exercise
to maintain skeletal health, joint mobility, and normal body weight
Avoidance of excess mechanical stress on involved bonesA splint for an area at high risk for fracture
There are no current guidelines to prevent the onset of Paget's disease. People with primary family members who have Paget's 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
Schneider D, Hofmann MT, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of Paget's disease of bone.
Am Fam Physician
Last reviewed June 2013 by John C. Keel, 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.
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