Paget’s disease – what is Paget’s disease and what are the signs and symptoms?

Paget's disease
Paget’s disease

Symptoms of Paget’s disease of bone include bone pain, joint pain and problems caused by a nerve being squashed or damaged.

But in many cases, there are no obvious symptoms and the condition is only found during tests carried out for another reason.

One or several bones may be affected. Commonly affected areas include the:

pelvis

spine

skull

shoulders

legs

Read more about the main symptoms below.

Bone pain

Bone pain caused by Paget’s disease is usually:

dull or achy

deep within the affected part of the body

constant

worse at night

The affected area may also feel warm.

Joint pain

Abnormal bone growth can damage nearby cartilage, the spongy tissue that cushions your joints.

This can lead to “wear and tear” of the affect joints (also known as osteoarthritis), which can cause:

joint pain

joint stiffness

swollen joints

The symptoms are usually worse when you wake up and improve a bit as you start to move.

Nerve problems

Abnormal bone growth can result in bone squashing (compressing) or damaging a nearby nerve.

Possible signs of this can include:

pain travelling from the spine down into your legs (sciatica)

pain travelling from your neck into your arms and chest

numbness or tingling in the affected limbs (peripheral neuropathy)

partial loss of movement in your limbs

balance problems

loss of bowel control or loss of bladder control

Other problems

Paget’s disease of bone can also cause a range of other problems, including:

fragile bones that are more likely to break

deformities in affected bones, such as curved legs (bow legs) or a curved spine (scoliosis)

hearing lossheadachesvertigo (a spinning sensation) and tinnitus (a noise in your ears) – these may occur if the skull is affected

too much calcium in the blood

heart problems

Read more about the complications of Paget’s disease of bone.

When to see your GP

See your GP if you have:

persistent bone or joint pain

deformities in any of your bones

symptoms of a nerve problem, such as numbness, tingling or loss of movement

Your GP can organise tests to check your bones and look for problems such as Paget’s disease of bone.

Read more about how Paget’s disease of bone is diagnosed.