Paget's disease is a chronic bone disease involving abnormal bone remodeling processes. While healthy bones constantly "remodel" themselves by creating new bone to replace old bone, bones affected by Paget's disease produce new bone too rapidly, causing fragile, misshapen bones prone to fractures. In advanced stages of Paget's disease, bone composition resembles connective, fibrous tissue containing blood vessels. Paget's disease commonly affects the legs, spine, skull, and pelvis, although it can impact any bone in the body.
The weaker, softer bones of individuals with Paget's disease cause chronic bone pain, stress or hairline fractures without trauma, and physical deformity. Symptoms depend on where the disease is impacting bones. Pelvic bones affected by Paget's disease produce radiating pain across the pelvis and lower back while numbness, tingling, and pain in a leg or arm may mean Paget's disease is deteriorating the spine. Bone overgrowth in the skull causes headaches and hearing loss due to nerve compression. Paget's disease in the leg may deform bones by forcing them to enlarge and bend. When leg bones become misshapen and can no longer provide support for the body, knee and hip joints may develop osteoarthritis due to this extra stress.
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