Paget's disease is a problem of abnormal bone growth. It may affect just one bone, but it usually affects more than one.
Paget's disease is most common in people older than 50, and the risk of getting it increases with age. Most people who have it are able to lead normal lives.
The cause of Paget's disease is not clear. But it may be related to:
Most people with Paget's disease have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, the most common ones are:
Other symptoms may occur, depending on which part of the body is affected by Paget's disease.
Paget's disease is most often found by chance when a person sees a doctor for a problem such as hip or back pain. An abnormal X-ray or blood test may lead the doctor to discover this disease.
To diagnose Paget's disease, the doctor will ask about your past health, do a physical exam, and order tests such as:
Many people don't need treatment for Paget's disease. But even if you don't need treatment, you will still need to see your doctor on a regular basis from now on. This will let your doctor watch for other problems you might get from the disease, such as arthritis, fractures, or nerve problems.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine if you have symptoms or if you have no symptoms but you are at risk for other problems from Paget's disease. Medicine can help reduce the breakdown of bone tissue, control symptoms such as bone pain, and prevent other problems such as arthritis, fractures, or nerve damage.
Bisphosphonates are usually the first medicines prescribed for Paget's disease. They often make the disease inactive, sometimes for years or decades. If it becomes active again, you may need to take this medicine off and on to keep the disease under control.
If you still have pain while taking your prescribed medicine, you can try:
You might also need other treatments, such as:
Some people may need surgery to replace a damaged hip or knee joint.
There are many things you can do to help yourself when you have Paget's disease.
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