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by Michelle Badash, MS
Paget disease is a bone condition that results in enlarged and deformed bones. It is a long-term condition. Any bone in the body can be affected. However, the most common sites are the spine, skull, pelvis, thighs, and lower legs.
Paget disease is caused by a malfunction in bone formation. Normally, bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. With Paget disease, bones are broken down abnormally fast, and new bone replacement is loose and bulky, instead of strong and compact. These poorly formed bones may become weak. They also may bend over time.
The exact cause of this bone malformation is unknown. About one third of cases are genetic, due to a gene mutation. Paget disease may be triggered early in life by a viral infection.
Risk Factors TOP
Paget's disease is more common in people of Northern European descent and those who are 55 years of age and older.
Other factors that may increase your risk of Paget's disease include:
Most people with Paget disease don't have symptoms. For those with symptoms, Paget disease may cause:
Paget disease that involves the skull may cause:
Paget disease doesn't spread to other bones, but the symptoms do get worse over time. It may also be associated with arthritis, heart disease, kidney stones, loose teeth, and nervous system problems.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will order blood tests.
Imaging tests take pictures of internal body structures. These are done with:
It is best to begin treatment as soon as possible, sometimes before symptoms develop. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
Medications for Paget disease include:
Surgery may be required if you have one of the following conditions:
There are no current guidelines to prevent the onset of Paget disease. People with primary family members who have Paget disease are encouraged to have a blood test every 2-3 years after age 40.
NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center
The Paget Foundation
The Arthritis Society
Albagha OM, Genetic Determinants of Paget's Disease (GDPD) Consortium. Genome-wide association identifies three new susceptibility loci for Paget's disease of bone. Nat Genet. 2011;43(7):685-689.
Michou L, Brown JP. Emerging strategies and therapies for treatment of Paget's disease of bone. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2011;5:225-239.
Paget disease of bone. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated November 10, 2015. Accessed May 11, 2016.
Schneider D, Hofmann MT, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of Paget's disease of bone. Am Fam Physician. 2002;15;65(10):2069-72.
What is Paget's disease of bone? NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated November 2014. Accessed May 11, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 6/22/2015
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