Paget disease (PD) is a bone disorder. Normal bone is always being broken down and built again. With PD, bones are broken down too fast. New bone is loose and bulky instead of strong and compact. This leaves bones weak. They may bend over time.
PD affects the bones of the:
Normal Bone Structure
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The exact cause of PD is not known. It may due to a viral infection, such as the measles.
PD is more common in people who are over 55 years old. It usually occurs in people of European descent.
Your risk for PD may also be higher if you:
- Have a gene called SQSTM1
- Have family members with PD, such as a parent, sibling, or child
- Use tobacco
Most people with PD don't have symptoms. People who do may have:
- Bone and joint pain
- Misshapen bones
- Hearing loss if PD is in the skull
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Your doctor will order blood tests.
Pictures will be taken of your body. This can be done with:
It is best to start treatment as soon as you can. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you.
These are the medicines used to treat PD:
- Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Bisphosphonates to prevent the loss of bone and keep the disease from getting worse
You may need surgery if you have:
There are things you can do to care for your PD:
- Take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Use assistive devices, such as canes and shoe lifts. They can help you if you have a limb that is too short.
There are no methods to prevent PD.
People with close family members who have PD should screened for the SQSTM1 gene.
Albagha OM, Genetic Determinants of Paget's Disease
(GDPD) Consortium. Genome-wide association identifies three new susceptibility loci for Paget's disease of bone.
Michou L, Brown JP. Emerging strategies and therapies for treatment of Paget's disease of bone.
Drug Des Devel Ther.
Paget disease of bone. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. 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:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Pagets/pagets_disease_ff.asp. Updated November 2014. Accessed May 11, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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