Paget’s disease is a chronic disorder that can result in excessive breakdown and formation of bone tissue resulting in weak, enlarged and misshapen bones. It usually results in pain, fractures, and other bone and joint problems, including osteoarthritis. Bone pain is the most common symptom, usually affecting just one or a few bones. It is more common in the pelvis or spine. The pain is usually worse when lying down. However, sometimes the symptoms of Paget's disease can be insignificant, and it is only diagnosed during tests for a fracture in the bone or an unrelated medical condition.
Paget's disease disrupts the normal cycle of bone renewal and repair, causing bones to become weakened and deformed. Complications of Paget's disease are uncommon, however can be potentially serious resulting in bone deformities, hearing loss and osteoarthritis, even causing heart failure or bone cancer in some cases.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes changes in cartilage, the elastic tissue that cushions the joints. The surface layer of the cartilage breaks down and wears away during osteoarthritis. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shocks of physical movement allowing the bones to gently glide over one another. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.
While osteoarthritis mostly occurs in the knees, hips, spine and small joints of the hands and base of the big toe, it can affect any joint in the body. Mild inflammations around the joints, damage to cartilage, and bony growths that develop around the edge of the joints are the most common characteristics of osteoarthritis leading to pain, stiffness and difficulty doing certain activities.
Paget's disease and osteoarthritis have a lot in common, especially the symptoms. People suffering from Paget's disease may also develop osteoarthritis. However, only in some cases the osteoarthritis is caused by the disease while in other cases both diseases may occur independently. It is also not necessary for everyone with Paget’s disease to develop osteoarthritis. Both Paget’s disease and osteoarthritis can cause joint and bone pain. If a person has both the conditions, same joints and bones may be affected by both the diseases, making it difficult for doctors to tell which condition is actually causing the pain.
It is believed that inheriting mutated genes like SQSTM1 and seven other genes from parents substantially increases the chance of developing Paget's disease. It has been found that the disease runs in families in about 15% of cases. A person having a family member or a close relative with Paget's disease is more likely to develop the condition as compared to people who don't have anyone affected with the disease in their family. The number of people affected by the disease has changed significantly in some regions of the world making scientists to consider the role of the environment factors. It is also believed that Paget's disease might be caused by a slow-acting viral infection. However, the exact causes of Paget’s disease are still unknown.
Injuries have been a common cause of osteoarthritis. The condition is more likely to develop in joint damaged by an injury or operation. Osteoarthritis can also occur in joints severely damaged by a previous or existing condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Age also plays a key role in osteoarthritis development. With age, the muscles get weaker and the joints wear out, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis. Research into the causes of osteoarthritis has shown that being obese puts excess strain on your joints, particularly those that bear most of your weight, such as your knees and hips, making osteoarthritis worse in obese people.
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