Paget’s disease is a chronic medical condition affecting the bones of the body. It is a disorder of the typical bone remodeling process, which involves the body’s ability to produce new bone and take up old bone. This remodeling is necessary for keeping the normal levels of calcium in the body. In those with Paget’s disease, the bone remodeling is not in synch and as a result the bone will form abnormally. It may be larger than it should and have reduced density leaving it more susceptible to breakage.
This condition affects the older bones in adults and is not very common. Only an estimated 1% of the population in the United States has been found to have this condition. There is also an extremely rare instance of Paget’s disease in children. There is no conclusive reasoning behind the development of the disease. There has been some investigation about specific genes being connected to Paget’s disease. It is possible that a viral infection is the trigger in those who have the genes linked to the condition.
Treating Paget’s disease involves actively controlling the disease and working to manage its complications. In cases where Paget’s disease produces no symptoms and blood tests are normal, treatment may not be needed. In patients that suffer bone pain as a result of the disease, over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can be effective. For those dealing with deformities of the bone, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair bones that have been damaged or deformed. Patients suffering from pinched nerves due to the enlargement of the bones may also need surgery to relieve the pain and pressure.
There are also prescription medications that can be effective at treating those with Paget’s disease. These drugs are called bisphosphonates which is also used to treat osteoporosis. There are also injectable drugs which are called calcitonin. Paget’s disease most often affects the lower legs, thigh bones, pelvis, skull, and spine. Depending on the location and the particulars of the medical case, different medications may be used. The prognosis for those affected by Paget’s disease is typically good when caught early before major issues have begun affecting the bone.