Paget Disease of the Bone

What is Paget disease of the bone?

Paget disease of the bone is a chronic bone disorder. It causes bones to become enlarged and deformed. Bone may become dense, but fragile, because of excessive breakdown and deformation of bone. The disease is the most common bone disorder after osteoporosis in adults older than age 50.

What causes Paget disease of the bone?

The exact cause of Paget disease of the bone is unknown. It may be due to a slow viral infection of bone. Genetics may also play a significant role.

What are the symptoms of Paget disease of the bone?

These are the most common symptoms of Paget disease of the bone:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone deformity
  • Pain
  • Risk for bone fractures

Very rarely, Paget disease may progress to bone cancer.

The symptoms of Paget disease of the bone may look like other bone disorders or medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is Paget disease of the bone diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:

  • Blood test.
    A blood test called serum alkaline phosphatase measures the levels of the
    enzyme alkaline phosphatase in the bone. Any condition of bone growth or an increased
    activity of bone cells, including Paget disease, will cause alkaline phosphatase
    levels to rise.
  • Bone
    These biopsies are sometimes done with a needle, using numbing medicine only or
    with sedation. Sometimes they are done in the operating room through small incisions.
    You may have a bone biopsy if an X-ray does not confirm or rule out the disease.
  • Bone
    This is a nuclear imaging test that uses a very small amount of
    radioactive material called tracer injected into the blood. This tracer can be
    detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity
    within the bone.
  • X-ray. This test uses invisible energy beams to make images of tissues,
    bones, and organs.