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Paget's disease is a problem of abnormal bone growth. It may affect just one bone, but it usually affects more than one.
Paget's disease is most common in people older than 50, and the risk of getting it increases with age. Most people who have it are able to lead normal lives.
The cause of Paget's disease is not clear. But it may be related to:
Most people with Paget's disease have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, the most common ones are:
Other symptoms may occur, depending on which part of the body is affected by Paget's disease.
Paget's disease is most often found by chance when a person sees a doctor for a problem such as hip or back pain. An abnormal X-ray or blood test may lead the doctor to discover this disease.
To diagnose Paget's disease, the doctor will ask about your past health, do a physical exam, and order tests such as:
You might also need other tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan.
Many people don't need treatment for Paget's disease. But even if you don't need treatment, you will still need to see your doctor on a regular basis from now on. This will let your doctor watch for other problems you might get from the disease, such as arthritis, fractures, or nerve problems.
If you have symptoms or are at risk for other problems from the disease, your doctor may prescribe medicine. Medicine can help reduce the breakdown of bone tissue, control symptoms such as bone pain, and prevent other problems such as arthritis.
If you still have pain while taking your prescribed medicine, you can try:
You might also need other treatments, such as:
Some people may need surgery to replace a damaged hip or knee joint.
There are many things you can do to help yourself when you have Paget's disease.
Learning about Paget's disease:
Living with Paget's disease:
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) provides information and education to raise the public's awareness of musculoskeletal conditions, with an emphasis on preventive measures. The AAOS website contains information on orthopedic conditions and treatments, injury prevention, and wellness and exercise.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is a governmental institute that serves the public and health professionals by providing information, locating other information sources, and participating in a national federal database of health information. NIAMS supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases and supports the training of scientists to carry out this research.
The NIAMS website provides health information referrals to the NIAMS Clearinghouse, which has information packages about diseases.
The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases—National Resource Center is a government resource center that helps health professionals, patients, and the public learn about and locate current information on metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis, Paget's disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, and hyperparathyroidism.
The Paget Foundation for Paget's Disease of Bone and Related Disorders is a voluntary health agency devoted to serving people affected by Paget's disease of bone. The foundation provides affected individuals and their families with up-to-date information about Paget's disease and refers people diagnosed with Paget's disease to doctors who specialize in treating this disorder. It also assists health professionals who treat this disorder. The foundation produces educational and support materials including brochures, pamphlets, audiovisual aids, a newsletter titled Update, and a guide for people affected by Paget's disease to raise public awareness of this and related disorders.
Last Revised: February 25, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
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