Paget's Disease of Bone: Symptoms and Treatment
Paget's disease is a chronic disorder that forces the bones in your body to grow faster and longer than usual. It is predominantly found to occur in older adults, over the age of 50. Over time you body bones may become fragile because of this disease. The most commonly affected body parts in this disease are skull, pelvis, spine and legs.
The risk of getting this disease will increase, if any of your family member has this problem. However, this disease has become less common from the past few years and even if it is developed its severity will be low.
Paget's Disease: Definition
Paget's disease of bones is a rare medical condition in which the rate of resorption and formation of new bone increases excessively. You may face frequent bone fractures, joint pain, or even arthritis in this condition.
In this chronic disorder, bones in any part of your body may become fragile. Your pelvis, skull, spine, and leg bones are at a higher risk of this disorder.
Paget's disease is monostotic when it affects one particular bone in your body, and it is polyostotic when it affects more than one bone in your body.
Symptoms of Paget's Disease
Most of the Paget's disease patients will not experience any symptoms. If the symptoms occur then it will be bone pain at a specific location. The symptoms might affect only one or two parts of the body or it may widespread. The signs and symptoms will depend on the affected body part.
Here is a list of general symptoms of the disorder. (Symptoms may vary in different individuals.)
- Pain in hips and the surrounding region
- Overgrowth of the skull
- Severe headaches
- Hearing impairment or deafness
- Moderate to severe pain
- Tingling sensation
- Numbness in arms or legs
- Weakened bones
- Bent bones
- Bowlegged appearance
- Enlarged bones
- Joint pain
You may also experience some common symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
Causes of Paget's Disease
Unfortunately, the reason for Paget's disease is still unknown to medical experts and scientists. According to some experts, you may develop it if exposed to certain viral infections that affect your bone cells directly.
Some of the main causes are as follows:
Genetic factors pass down from one generation to the next. If you have a family history of Paget's disease, you are more likely to suffer from it than others who have no family history of this disease.
In many cases, doctors consider the environment as the sole responsible factor for bone degeneration. An unhygienic environment, polluted water, and exposure to viral and bacterial infections may lead to the excessive turnover of bone formation.
Test performed in Paget's disease
The following tests will determine the Paget's disease:
Alkaline Phosphatase blood test: If your blood contains high level of phosphatase then it is an indication of Paget's disease. This alp blood test alarms doctor about this disease.
X-rays: Through X-rays your doctor can determine the bones affected by Paget's disease. Such affected bones will look different from other bones.
Bone scan: Your healthcare provider may sometimes do bone scan to determine which bone is affected with this disease and what is its severity. In bone scan radioactive liquid is injected in the veins. The liquid will then reaches the bones and highlights the affected area.
Complications related to Paget's Disease
Paget's disorder may lead to further medical complications:
- Cardiovascular problems like heart attack
- Problems in the nervous system
- A specific type of bone cancer called Paget's sarcoma
- Loose teeth
- Visionary issues like blurred vision
- Complete hearing loss
Levels of Paget's Disease
Paget's disease shows three phases.
The first three phases may overlap with other. It is hard to differentiate one from one another. However, tests may identify the osteolytic phase. In this phase, the bones start growing more than their usual size. The sudden increase in osteoclasts with several nuclei accelerates the process. This is followed by the last and the most prominent phase of Paget's disorder—the osteoblastic phase. In this phase, the bones are visibly crooked. The stage becomes more apparent with time.
Diagnosis of Paget's Disease
Several tests can diagnose this chronic bone disorder.
- Bone scan
- Laboratory tests
Treatment of Paget's Disease
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Paget's disorder. However, if your problem is diagnosed earlier, doctors may effectively manage it through surgical and non-surgical procedures.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Assistive devices
- Bisphosphonate medication
- Internal fixation
- Total joint replacement
When to see a doctor
You must talk with your doctor in the following cases:
- Severe pain in joints and bones.
- Bone deformities
- Hearing loss, especially when the problem is only in one ear.
Paget's disease is a common problem among older adults in which the bones start growing more than usual. Though there is no cure, you can slow the progress with a timely diagnosis and treatment. Medications help to slow down the progress of the disease. You may have to go through joint surgery if the condition becomes severe. Book your health checkups and blood tests with Metropolis Labs. Avail of their reliable services from the comforts of your home.
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Hence, you can book an appointment today with Metropolis labs for accurate diagnosis of your Paget's disease. Also, remain assured, your information will be kept confidential.