Paget's Disease Overview
Paget's disease of the bone is the second most common bone disorder in elderly patients. (Osteoporosis is the most common.) Paget's disease is a disorder that affects the normal remodeling process of bone. In normal bone, the bone constantly remodels. In the remodeling process, old bone is removed and new bone is formed. In patients with Paget's disease, this process is altered. These patients have an excessive amount of bone resorption (removal) followed by an even more excessive amount of new bone formation. Unfortunately, this increased rate of bone remodeling leads to new bone that is not as strong as normal bone. This abnormal bone is weaker, has more blood vessels, and is larger in size than normal bone. Paget's disease is also called osteitis deformans. While most cases do not cause symptoms, some patients may develop bone pain, fractures, deformities, and sometimes malignant transformation into sarcoma (bone tumor), although this is rare.
Men are affected by Paget's disease slightly more often than women. Paget's disease is more common in people of Northern European ancestry, most commonly in those from Great Britain. It is rare in Asia and Africa. It is more common with increasing age, typically diagnosed in people in their 50s. In the United States 1%-2% of the general population is estimated to have Paget's disease.
Mythili Seetharaman, MD
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