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Paget’s Disease – Cause, Symptoms, and More

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Paget’s disease of bone most usually occurs in the pelvis, skull, spine, and legs. Risk factors include increasing age and a family history of the condition. Over time, affected bones may become fragile and misshapen.

This condition can be symptomless for an extended period. When symptoms do occur, they may include bone deformities, broken bones, and pain in the affected area. Treatment involves medication that reduces the breakdown of bone.

What is the Cause of Paget’s Disease?

The cause of Paget’s disease is non-clear. But it may be related to:

Genetics. You are more likely to get Paget’s disease if your parents, brothers, or sisters have it.

Virus. Viruses related to measles in people and distemper in dogs have been found in people’s bones with Paget’s disease. But there is no evidence that these viruses cause this disease.

Symptoms of Paget’s Disease

Most people with Paget’s disease of bone have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, the most common complaint is bone pain.

Because this disease causes your body to make new bone faster than usual, the rapid remodeling results in less organized and weaker bones, leading to bone pain, deformities, and fractures.

The disease may affect just one or two areas of your body or be widespread. Its signs and symptoms depend on which part of the body is affected.

Pool. Paget’s disease of the pelvic bone can cause hip pain.

Skull. Excessive bone growth in the skull can cause hearing loss or headaches.

Column. When your spine is affected, nerve roots can become compressed. This can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in an arm or leg.

Leg. As bones weaken, they can bend – causing you to be bow-legged. Enlarged and deformed bones in the legs can put extra stress on nearby joints, leading to knee or hip osteoarthritis.


when to the doctor

  • Talk to your doctor if you have the following:
  • Pain in your bones and joints
  • Tingling and weakness in a limb
  • bone deformities
  • Unexplained hearing loss, especially if it’s only on one side.

How is Paget’s Disease Diagnosed?

Paget’s disease is found when a person sees a doctor for a problem such as hip or back pain. An abnormal X-ray or blood test can lead the doctor to discover this disease.

To diagnose Paget’s disease, your doctor will ask about your past health, do a physical exam, and order tests such as:

  • X-rays of the bones: Affected bones often look distorted and overly thick on x-rays.

Bone scintigraphy. It is the best test to diagnose Paget’s disease. You may have a full-body bone scan to determine which bones are affects.

  • Blood and urine tests: The most important test to diagnose Paget’s disease is a blood test to check the level of alkaline phosphatase, a


  • Produced by bone: If the level of this enzyme is high, your doctor will want to do other tests.

You may also necessary other tests, such as amagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT).

How is it Treated?

Many people do not need treatment for Paget’s disease. But even if you don’t need treatment, you’ll still need to see your doctor regularly. It will let your doctor check for other problems you may have from the disease, such as arthritis, fractures, or neurological (nerve) problems.

Your doctor may advise medicine if you have symptoms or no symptoms but are at risk for other problems from Paget’s disease. The drug can help reduce the breakdown of bone tissue, control symptoms such as bone pain, and prevent further issues such as arthritis, fractures, or nerve damage.

Bisphosphonates are often the first medications prescribe for Paget’s disease. They often render the disease dormant, sometimes for years or decades. If it comes back on, you may want to take this medicine from time to time to keep the condition under control.

If you still have pain while taking your prescription medicine, you can try the following:

  • An over-the-counter pain relief such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen. Be careful with medications. Read and follow all label directions.
  • Acupuncture or relaxation methods such as guided imagery or biofeedback.

You may also need other treatments, such as:

  • Physiotherapy to build muscles and improve balance. It can help reduce falls and prevent broken bones.
  • Splints or braces care for bones and joints and help prevent weak bones from breaking.
  • A cane or walker to aid keep you from falling and breaking a bone.
  • A hearing aid if the disease has caused hearing loss.

Some people may need surgery to replace a damaged hip or knee joint.


Bone risk for Paget’s disease increases with age and when family members have the disease. However, for reasons strange to doctors, the disease has become less common in recent years and is less severe when it develops.

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