Paget's disease results in enlarged and deformed bones. It is a chronic (long-term) condition. Any bone in the body can be affected. However, the most common sites are the spine, skull, pelvis, thighs, and lower legs. The disease does not usually spread to other normal bones.
Normal Bone Structure
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Paget's disease is caused by a malfunction in bone formation. Normally, bones are constantly being broken down by cells called osteoclasts. They are then rebuilt by cells called osteoblasts. With Paget's disease, bones are broken down abnormally fast, and new bone replacement is loose and bulky, instead of strong and compact. These poorly formed bones may become weak. They also may bend over time.
The exact cause of this bone malformation is unknown. It is associated with family history. Some experts believe that Paget's disease may be triggered early in life by a viral infection.
Last reviewed[Under Medical Review]by Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH
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