Paget disease of the bone is a long-term bone disease. It causes the bones become enlarged and deformed. Bone may become think, but break easily. The disease is the most common bone disorder after osteoporosis in people over age 50.
The exact cause of Paget disease of the bone is not known. Researchers think it may be caused by a slow viral infection of bone. It may also be inherited.
The following are the most common symptoms of Paget disease of the bone. However, symptoms can be different for each person. Symptoms may include:
Pain in the affected area
Bone deformity in the affected area
Bones that tend to fracture in the affected area
Very rarely, Paget disease may progress to bone cancer.
The symptoms of Paget disease of the bone can be similar to other bone disorders or medical problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Your health care provider will ask about your medical history and give you a complete physical examination. He or she may also recommend certain tests. Those tests may include:
X-ray. A test to look for abnormalities in your bones.
A bone-specific alkaline phosphatase test. A test that measures the levels of alkaline phosphatase (an enzyme found throughout the body) in the bone. Increased levels may indicate Paget disease.
Radionuclide bone scan. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream. The material can be detected by a nuclear imaging scanner. The scans shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
Your health care provider will determine your treatment based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
The level of your disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
Physical therapy to improve muscle strength
Medications to slow the disease and manage pain
Surgery to cut, realign, or replace affected bone