|There are several types of pain associated with Paget's disease. Pain is the most common symptom that brings a Paget's disease patient to a physician. Pain varies greatly from patient to patient depending on the location and extent of the Paget's disease and other factors.
One phase of Paget's disease involves thinning of the bone, which is being aggressively "resorbed" away. This is called "lytic disease." This process can cause small breaks (microfractures) in the bone that are painful, especially when they involve weight-bearing bone. Another source of pain may be from irritation of nerves covering affected bones. Patients usually describe this pain as a deep pain that is most symptomatic at night and may lessen during the day.
Joint and Muscle Pain
When Paget's disease reaches the end of a long bone, the cartilage may degenerate. Also, when pagetic bones are deformed, the adjacent joints are affected. Both of these situations result in osteoarthritis, also referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis, which can be quite painful.
When bones are deformed, the muscles may have to work harder and at abnormal angles, causing muscle pain.
Pain Related to Complications of the Nervous System
A variety of problems, including sciatica (pain that radiates from the lower back into the legs), can be related to Paget's disease of the skull and spinal column as a result of pressure on the brain, spinal cord or nerves by enlarged pagetic bones. Pain associated with nervous system complications can affect the head, neck, back and/or extremities.
Treatment for Pain Associated with Paget's Disease
The pain associated with Paget's disease is often alleviated by treating the Paget's disease, treating any accompanying arthritis and also providing non-specific pain relief when needed. Surgery may be necessary when severe pain cannot be controlled by medications.