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Pagets Disease
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Paget's disease of bone

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SENIORS' HEALTH

Bones/Joints/Muscles

From MayoClinic.com

Paget's disease of bone is a condition that affects the metabolic process by which your bones stay strong and healthy. The disease is named after a mid-19th-century English surgeon, Sir James Paget. He also identified Paget's disease of the breast, but the two conditions are otherwise unrelated.

Your skeleton doesn't stop changing once it reaches full growth. Bone is living tissue engaged in a continuous process of renewal. During this remodeling process, old bone is removed and replaced by new bone. Paget's disease disrupts the normal remodeling of bone. Early in the course of the disease, old bone starts breaking down faster than new bone can be built. Over time, your body responds by generating new bone at a faster-than-normal rate. This rapid remodeling produces bone that's softer and weaker than normal bone and can cause bone pain, deformities and fractures.

Paget's disease most commonly affects your skull, spine and the bones in your arms, legs and pelvis. The disease may affect only one or two areas of your body, or may be widespread.

Paget's disease is the second-most common bone disorder - following osteoporosis - in people age 50 and older.

Signs and symptoms

Paget's disease affects each person differently. Most people with Paget's disease have no symptoms. The most common symptom is pain in the areas of your body affected by Paget's. Affected areas may include:

  • Bones. Pain in the affected bone is the most common symptom of Paget's disease. Your pain may be constant, aching and deep, and may be most severe at night.

  • Joints. Paget's disease may damage the cartilage lining the joints near your affected bones. This wear and tear often leads to osteoarthritis in your affected joints, a condition that may cause pain, swelling and stiffness, especially after use.

  • Nerves. Enlarged bones can compress the spinal cord or the nerves exiting your brain and spinal cord. Pain resulting from nerve compression is more severe than the bone pain associated with Paget's. The location of the pain caused by nerve compression depends on the nerve that's affected. You may notice pain radiating from your lower back into your legs (sciatica) if the lower region of your spine is affected. Pressure on a nerve can also cause numbness, tingling, weakness and double vision.

Other signs and symptoms of Paget's disease may include:

  • Warmth in your skin over the affected area

  • Neurologic problems, such as hearing loss, vision loss, headache and weakness

  • Bone deformities, such as bowed legs and enlarged head size

  • Fractures

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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Last Modified : 03/15/08 01:42 AM