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Paget's Disease

What is Paget's Disease?

Paget's disease is a disorder in which bone formation speeds up, changing the strength and shape of bones. It is named after a mid-19th-century English surgeon, Sir James Paget, who also identified Paget's disease of the breast.

Paget's Disease frequently begins in adults between the ages of 50 and 70. The parts of the skeleton most commonly affected are:

  • Lower back
  • Long bones in the legs
  • Pelvis
  • Skull
  • Tail bone

What Causes Paget's Disease?

The exact cause of Paget's disease is unknown. However, researchers believe it is related to a viral infection in your bone cells that may be present for many years before symptoms appear.

Symptoms of Paget's Disease

Unfortunately, most people with Paget's disease have no symptoms. When symptoms are present, the most common symptom is pain in the areas of your body affected by Paget's.

Symptoms will vary according to the area of the body that is affected:

  • Bones
    • Pain
    • Aching
  • Joints
    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Stiffness
  • Nerves
    • Pain
    • Numbness
    • Tingling
    • Weakness
    • Hearing loss
    • Double vision

Other symptoms of Paget's disease include:

  • Warmth in your skin over the affected area
  • Neurologic problems, such as hearing loss and headache
  • Bone deformities
  • Fractures

Can Paget's Disease be Treated?

Yes. Early treatment will slow the progress of Paget's disease. The most common treatment options are:

  • Exercise
  • Maintaining normal weight
  • Medications: bisphosphonates, calcitonin, NSAID's, plicamycin
  • Surgery

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