Paget disease of bone is a degenerative bone disorder. When a person develops this condition, his or her bones become gradually weak, fragile, deform, and breakdown easily and excessively. It is a chronic bone disorder. In this condition, the normal recycling process of bones disrupts owing to which bones grow, enlarge, become dense, and then breakdown. This condition is common in older adults and mostly affects people aged 50 years or more. Many people silently suffer from this condition over years without even knowing it. However, in recent years, Paget disease prevalence has diminished dramatically and the disease is becoming less common nowadays.
What are the signs and symptoms of Paget Disease of bone?
- In Paget disease bone activity increases
- Joint and bone pain
- Bone deformity
- Increased risk for bone fractures
- Paget disease may also lead to bone cancer in very rare cases
The signs and symptoms of Paget disease resemble the symptoms of other orthopedic conditions. For instance, you may experience back pain if the affected area is your spine. When Paget disease affects the hip or pelvic bone, you may experience hip pain. The other symptoms may include a tingling sensation in the arms and legs with weakness and numbness.
Knee and Hip arthritis: This is a common finding in cases of Paget disease. Due to increased bone activity, joint bones enlarge and mishappen. This process leads to excess pressure, force, or stress on hip and knee joints. Therefore, Paget disease leads to knee and hip arthritis.
What causes Paget disease of bone?
Paget disease is mostly idiopathic. Experts are still unsure about the exact cause of Paget’s disease. However, genetics and environmental factors could play a role.
Paget Disease Diagnosis
Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi asks you a few questions regarding the condition and its symptoms. He performs a physical examination taking into consideration the signs and symptoms you have. Based on your symptoms, duration of illness, and medical history, Dr. Vasudeva evaluates your case comprehensively. He may recommend the following tests:
X-Ray – Simple bone X-ray shows the status of your bones. Paget disease causes abnormality in your bones and makes them look large on X-rays.
Scintigraphy: This is a special bone scan. It is ordered to check the extent of your disease and how far Paget disease has affected your bones. Technicians inject a small amount of radioactive substance into the blood. This substance collects in areas of the bones where bone renewal takes place. To highlight the affected parts – a gamma camera is used to detect the radiation and mark the affected bones of the body.
Alkaline phosphatase enzyme levels help in giving an indication of bone disease like Paget’s disease. Bone growth or increased cellular activity of bone cells increases the levels of this enzyme. In Paget’s disease, alkaline phosphatase levels increase. Orthopedic doctors recommend this test to detect bone disease.
Biopsy: Orthopedic surgeons remove a small sample of bone using a needle and sedate the patient. Doctors also do bone biopsies by making small incisions. A detailed laboratory analysis helps in determining the cause of bone disease.
Treatment for Paget Disease of the Bone
Prior to zeroing in on an apt treatment plan and modality, Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi considers several parameters mostly related to the patient’s health – such as the medical history of the patient; the duration of illness, sickness levels, medicines and therapies, patient’s overall health and ability to bear specific procedures and conditions.
The main objective of an apt treatment or therapy is to strengthen the bones and muscles and reduce abnormal bone resorption. When you approach Dr. Vasudeva he may prescribe medications and recommend physiotherapy to strengthen weak muscles and joints and to control inflammation. Another important medicine in the treatment of Paget’s disease is bisphosphonates to slow down abnormal bone resorption. This medicine is considered the mainstay of treatment. To get relief from the symptoms due to abnormal growth of bones, Dr. Vasudeva Juvvadi – a renowned orthopedic doctor may recommend surgery to realign, cut or replace affected bone.
Paget disease symptoms mimic the signs and symptoms of other orthopedic conditions. Talk to your orthopedic doctor for an accurate diagnosis of the condition. Meet Dr. Vasudeva if you experience any seemingly common signs and symptoms that you may tend to ignore easily – assuming those to be due to any other common orthopedic condition.