Paget’s Disease | DrBurke

Definition of Paget’s Disease

Paget’s disease is an extremely rare type of bone disease that is associated with arthritis. It is one of the most poorly understood forms of arthritic diseases. Unlike osteoporosis, another arthritis associated bone disease, where bone tissue breakdown exceeds bone tissue renewal. In Paget’s disease, bone tissue replacement exceeds bone tissue destruction. It is typically an arthritis-associated disease of old age and predominantly found in Northern Europe.

Causes of Paget’s Disease

Very little is understood about the etiology of Paget’s disease associated arthritis. The cause is still not known. Scientific theories have suggested a number of risk factors which are likely to predispose a person to Paget’s disease.

  • Genetic factors have been associated with Paget’s disease. Specific genetic markers found on chromosome arm 18q have been closely linked to Paget’s disease.
  • Hereditary factors i.e. a family history either parent, sibling or other relative. More research is needed to determine the basis of hereditary Paget’s disease.
  • A history of infectious disease especially viral infections such as measles.
  • Menopausal women
  • Age >60
  • Comorbidities e.g. parathyroid disease, connective tissue diseases etc.

Symptoms of Paget’s Disease

Paget’s disease can affect any bone in the human body. These include: pelvic bones, hip joint, skull, vertebral bones, bones of the arm and forearm, bones in the trunk, bones of the thigh and legs. Many people with Paget’s disease associated arthritis tend to complain more of hip joint arthritis and knee joint arthritis.

Damage to the affected bones is irreversible. The accelerated bone tissue renewal tends to make the new bone tissue abnormally large, soft and brittle. A person may complain of symptoms such as:

  • Bone pain which can be symmetrical or asymmetrical
  • Joint pain that is excruciating and at times intense
  • Joint pain that worsens upon movement
  • Increased warmth on the affected area
  • Loss of joint function
  • Deformity of the bone and joint structures
  • Abnormal body posture especially with involvement of spinal bones and joints
  • Neurological symptoms including headache, cranial nerve palsy and hearing impairment are not uncommon.

Treatment of Paget’s Disease

Medical therapy is the gold standard method of treating Paget’s disease associated-arthritis. Please contact Dr. Burke if you experience symptoms of Paget’s disease or direct someone you know who is suffering from arthritis due to Paget’s disease. He is a well-known orthopedic specialist with years of experience managing this type of arthritis. He offers the following treatment methods:

  • Bisphosphonates
  • Calcitonin
  • Physiotherapy
  • Orthopedic intervention such as joint replacement