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What is Paget’s disease?

Paget’s disease is a medical condition characterized by faulty bone formation and bone deformities. The new bones formed are usually weak and brittle. After osteoporosis, it is the second most common bone metabolism disorder. When these bones fracture, they take much longer to heal. This is due to defects in the bone renewal process. It is most commonly seen in the legs, skull, pelvis and spine.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The common signs and symptoms are:

What are the main causes?

The exact cause is still unknown. However, it is believed that the factors mentioned below might cause it:

  • Abnormal functioning of the osteoclasts (cells that absorb the old bone) and osteoblasts (cells that form the new bone).
  • Some kind of infection in bone cells caused by the rubeola virus.
  • Heredity is another factor as the condition tends to be found running in families.
  • The age factor is also important as it is rarely seen in persons under 40 years.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

It can be diagnosed by various methods such as:

  • Physical examination
    It helps in finding any irregularities in the bone shape and size.
  • Blood tests
    Presence of phosphatase in blood as it is an indicator of Paget’s disease.
  • X-ray  
    It confirms the disease and also helps in detecting fractures and low bone density.

Though full recovery is impossible, treatments can slow down the bone turnover and control the impact of the disease. The treatments are:

  • If there are severe bone fractures or damage or deformation of bones due to Paget’s disease, then surgery is the treatment of choice.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Analgesics (pain relievers).
  • Bisphosphonate drugs that help in blocking the action of osteoclasts.
  1. Medicines for Paget's Disease
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