Paget’s disease of the bone is a long-term bone disorder resulting in the enlargement and deformation of bones. Paget’s disease is the second most common type of bone disorder in the world. The excessive breakdown of tissue due to Paget’s disease causes weak bones, fracture, and deformities. There are two types of Paget’s disease of the bone: Polyostotic (when multiple bone areas are affected) and Monostotic (when single area of bone is affected). Irregularities in the bone modelling process cause Paget’s disease of bone. Paget’s disease of the bone affects the normal skeletal structure of the body.
Causes of Paget’s disease of the bone
The exact cause of Paget’s disease is still unknown. Some of the believed causes of Paget’s disease are:
- Genetic mutations
- Measles virus attacks
- Osteoclast cells malfunction
- Environmental factors
- Resorption of bone cells
The symptoms of Paget’s disease depend on the area of the body part affected. However, symptoms of Paget’s disease occur slowly over time and some patients may not feel any signs and symptoms of the disease.
The most common symptom of Paget’s disease is persistent pain in the joints. If Paget’s disease is left untreated, it may contribute in the development of arthritis. The development of Paget’s disease in the skull bone often results in severe headaches, nausea, vision problems, hearing loss, tingling and numbness around the face. The disease causes bones to transfer more than required calcium in the blood. The excessive amount of calcium in the blood results in extreme weakness, constipation, and loss of appetite. Another serious symptom of Paget’s disease is change in the structure of bone. It can make your thighs, legs, and forehead look bigger than actual.
Diagnosis of Paget’s disease of the bone
Diagnostic tests for Paget’s disease may include:
- CT (Computerized Tomography) - It is a technique in which several X-rays are taken from a different angle and combined later to make detailed images of the affected bones.
- MRI (Magnetic Resource Imaging) - It is an imaging test in which high frequency magnetic and radio waves are used to get detailed images of the affected bones.
- Bone scan - It involves the use of a small amount of radioactive solution, known as a tracer. This tracer is injected into the patient’s vein. A special camera is used to take pictures of areas that absorbed tracer.
There is no permanent cure for Paget’s disease its treatment can only help in the reduction of symptoms. Possible treatment of Paget’s disease is:
- Medicines such as, acetaminophen and bisphosphonates provide relief from the pain, prevent bone loss, and control level of calcium in the body.
- Physical therapy, routinely exercise and certain vitamin D supplements prevent the Paget’s disease from developing further.
- In particular cases an osteotomy procedure is performed. Osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which a segment of bone is removed to correct a misalignment.