Paget's disease is a disorder that involves abnormal bone destruction and regrowth. This results in deformity of the affected bones.
The cause of Paget's disease is unknown. It may be due to genetic factors or a viral infection early in life.
The disease occurs worldwide, but is more common in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
In people with Paget's disease, there is an abnormal breakdown of bone tissue in specific areas. This is, followed by abnormal bone formation. The new area of bone is larger, but weaker. The new bone is also filled with new blood vessels.
The affected bone may only be in one or two areas of the skeleton, or throughout the body. It more often involves bones of the arms, collarbones, leg, pelvis, spine, and skull.
Most people with the condition have no symptoms. Paget's disease is often diagnosed when an x-ray is done for another reason. It may also be discovered when trying to find the cause of high blood calcium levels.
If they do occur, symptoms may include:
Bone pain, joint pain or stiffness, and neck pain (the pain may be severe and present most of the time)
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of Paget's disease.
Lorenzo JA, Canalis E, Raisz LG. Metabolic bone disease. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 29.
Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.