Symptoms and causes of Paget’s disease of bones

Paget's disease of bones

The Paget’s disease is disease of bones which interferes with your body’s normal recycling process in which new bone tissue gradually replace the old bone tissue. As the time passes, the Paget’s disease can cause the affected bones to become misshapen and fragile. This type of disease is most commonly happening in legs, spine, skull and pelvis. The risk for this type of disease is increasing as we are aging. Also if some family member has Paget’s disease of bones, then your risk of getting it is increased [1]. Pinched nerves in your spine, hearing loss and broken bones are complications of Paget’s disease of bones. The mainstay of the treatment are bisphosphonates which are medications used to strengthen bones weakened by osteoporosis. There are severe cases when surgery may be necessary.

Paget’s disease of bones Symptoms

Symptoms: It is known that in the most cases, people who suffer from Paget’s disease of bones have no symptoms. When symptoms happen, then the most common complaint is the bone pain. Paget’s disease of bones is causing your body to generate new bones faster than normal. This rapid remodeling is producing bones which are softer and weaker than the normal bone and this could lead to fractures, deformities and bone pain. The Paget’s disease of bones can affect only 1 or 2 areas of the body or it can be widespread. The signs and symptoms of this disease will depend on the affected part of your body.

  • Leg: As your bones weaken, then they can bend which is causing you to become bowlegged. The misshapen and enlarged bones in your legs can put extra stress on nearby joints which can cause osteoarthritis in your hip or knee.
  • Spine: If the spine is affected, then the nerve roots can become compressed. This could lead to numbness, tingling and pain in the leg or arm.
  • Skull: The overgrowth of bone in the skull can lead to headaches or hearing loss.
  • Pelvis: If the pelvis is affected, then it can cause hip pain.

If you have bone deformities, then you should talk with your doctor. Also you should visit your doctor if you have tingling and weakness or pain in your bones and joints.

Causes: The cause for Paget’s disease of bones is not known. Scientists are saying that they suspect it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors which could lead to this disease. There are some doctors and scientists who believe that Paget’s disease of bones is related to a viral infection [2] in the bone cells but this theory is still controversial.

Risk factors: There are some factors which can increase the risk of Paget’s disease of bones, such as

  • Family history: It is known fact that if you have a close relative who have Paget’s disease of bones, then you are having more chances of getting this disease. [2]
  • National origin: This type of disease is more common in Greece, central Europe, Scotland and England as well as in countries settled by European immigrants [3]. The Paget’s disease of bones is uncommon in Asia and Scandinavia.
  • Sex: Men are having more chances of getting Paget’s disease of bones than women.
  • Age: Those people who are older than 40 are having more chances to develop Paget’s disease of bones. [1]

Paget's disease of bones

Paget’s disease of bones Symptoms

Complications: There are many cases when Paget’s disease of bones progresses slowly. Paget’s disease of bones can be managed effectively in nearly all people. There are some cases when could be complications, such as

  • Bone cancer: This type of cancer is happening in less than 1% of people who are affected with Paget’s disease of bones. [4]
  • Heart failure: If you have extensive Paget’s disease of bones, then it can force your heart to work harder to pump blood to the affected areas of your body. Those people who have pre – existing heart disease, this is increasing the workload can lead to heart failure. [5]
  • Osteoarthritis: The misshapen bones can increase the stress on nearby joints which can lead to osteoarthritis. [6]
  • Fractures and deformities: Those bones which are affected can break more easily. The extra blood vessels which are in these deformed bones can cause them to bleed more during the repair surgeries. The leg bones can bow which can affect the ability to walk. [6]


[1] Holgado S, Rotes D, Guma M, et al. Paget’s disease of bone in early adult life. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2005;64(2).

[2] Singer FR. The etiology of Paget’s disease of bone: Viral and genetic interactions. Cell Metabolism. 2011;13(1):5-6.

[3] Valenzuela EN, Pietschmann P. Epidemiology and pathology of Paget’s disease of bone – a review. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 2017;167(1):2–8.

[4] Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Bone cancer (sarcoma). Retrieved from

[5] Palleschi L, Nunziata E. Severe congestive heart failure in elderly patient with Paget’s disease: Case Report. 2017. Retrieved from

[6] Borz-Baba C, Sachan Y, Sapers B, Georgescu L. A case of rheumatoid arthritis and Paget disease of bone. The American Journal of Case Reports. 2019;20:764–9.


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