Most people with
Paget's disease have no symptoms. When there are
symptoms, the most common are
bone pain and bone deformities. People may have these
symptoms for years before they are diagnosed as having Paget's disease.
Paget's disease usually affects the bones in the
spine , thigh (femur ), skull, shin (tibia), and upper
arm (humerus ). One bone (monostotic) or several bones
(polyostotic) may be affected by Paget's disease.
Paget's disease may cause warmth, tenderness, and pain in the
affected area. The bone pain tends to be worse at night and often can keep you
awake. The pain does not increase when you move the affected bone and may get
better with exercise. Because this pain is often aching and hard to describe,
you may think it is part of the aging process. Some people who have Paget's disease
describe the pain as constant and deep.
The amount of bone pain may not relate to how much damage the
disease is causing. You can have Paget's disease without having much bone pain,
or the disease may be less severe but cause you a great deal of pain. Bones are
often more painful when bone tissue is being broken down during
active Paget's disease than at other times in the
disease process. Pain may also be caused by a
complication of Paget's disease, such as
Paget's disease may lead to bone deformities such as
bowed legs , an enlarged skull or hips, or a curved backbone. Deformities are
more common in long bones, such as the thighbone (femur).
A bone affected by Paget's disease can cause complications. For
example, if the upper leg bows, it may change how the bones that form the hip
joint and knee joint fit together and move, leading to
osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, in turn, can cause
pain and stiffness in the joints and difficulty with walking and other daily
Other symptoms may occur as the result of the location of Paget's
disease. For example, the disease can affect the skull and cause headaches,
dizziness, loss of facial muscle strength (facial droop),
or problems with vision or hearing. When Paget's disease affects the spine, it
can damage nerves and cause leg pain, numbness, weakness, or
cauda equina syndrome (an emergency condition with
symptoms that include loss of feeling in the pelvic area and legs).