Paget's Disease

View All Arthritis Types Paget's disease causes a malfunction in the normal process of bone remodeling. Normally, bone is continually breaking down and rebuilding. This usually slow process of bone destruction and growth is somehow altered and speeded up in Paget's disease producing a lot of "young bone" which is soft and porous. Soft bone can be weak and easily bend, leading to shortening of the affected part of the body. The bone replacement also takes place very quickly and excess bone may be formed. This can cause the bone to get larger, be painful and break easily.

The bone affected by Paget's disease also tends to have more blood vessels than normal. This causes an increase in the blood supply to the area, and as a result the area may feel warmer than usual.

The disease can affect any bone but more commonly affects the spine, pelvis, skull, thighbone and shinbone.

Paget's disease can lead to other medical conditions including osteoarthritis, kidney stones and heart disease.

Paget's disease is also called osteitis deformans. It is named after Sir James Paget, an English doctor who first described the disease in 1876.View All Arthritis Types
How common is Paget's Disease?
What are the warning signs of Paget's Disease?
What causes Paget's Disease?
At this time there is no cure for Paget's disease. Therefore treatment is designed to control the symptoms and change the rate of bone growth. Establishing the correct diagnosis is important because something can be done to manage most forms of arthritis and most therapies work best when started early in the disease.

Your doctor may be able to diagnose Paget's disease based on your medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor may order certain tests to help confirm the diagnosis and to determine what areas of bone are affected. These tests can include x-rays, bone scans and blood and urine tests.

A diagnosis of Paget's disease may be made when you see your doctor for another problem. You may have no symptoms at this time, but routine tests may show that you have the disease.

Once diagnosed with Paget's disease you may be referred to a rheumatologist or other doctor who specializes in bone disorders, or an endocrinologist, who specializes in metabolic and hormonal disorders (which affect the rates of growth in your body).

There is no cure for Paget's disease but there are treatments that can help you manage the pain and slow the disease. Not everyone with Paget's disease requires treatment. Treatment is indicated if there is pain, deformity of bones, pressure on nerves or fracture of the affected bone. Your active involvement in developing your treatment plan is essential.
Arthritis medications are designed to control a disease, slow its progression, and to help manage pain. There is a wide range of options – with new ones coming on the horizon – so understanding all possible treatments is not easy. 

These medications can be very complex, so you are encouraged to ask for in-depth explanations from your health care team – including pharmacists, who are an excellent source of information. 

To explore this area of treatment, The Arthritis Society has developed a comprehensive expert guide that delivers detailed information on medications used to treat arthritis.

Explore the Arthritis Medications A Reference Guide

The optimal treatment is what is best in each individual case – so speak with your doctor and/or pharmacist about what kind of medications are most appropriate for you.

Educational Programs 

The Arthritis Society provides a range of in-person workshops and online programs, all with a specific focus in mind. They include chronic pain management, overcoming fatigue, understanding your health-care team, symptom checkers, and more. Participants learn new information and skills, and for in-person workshops, can share ideas and experiences with others.

Explore arthritis workshops and courses


Discover information you can trust, because it’s based on evidence and vetted by experts, in The Society’s resource area. Learn about each disease, possible treatments, self-management, lifestyle issues, and so much more.

Browse publications

Discover More Discover More

online education module
Online Arthritis Self Management Courses

Online education programs that are informative, convenient and FREE.

Arthritis Community
Arthritis Community

Connect with others, share your arthritis experience and get answers in a safe online space.

Printed publications
Arthritis Publications

Evidence-based content to help you learn about the disease, treatments and self-management.