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Paget's Disease of Bone - Topic Overview

How is it treated?

Many people don't need treatment for Paget's disease. But even if you don't need treatment, you will still need to see your doctor on a regular basis from now on. This will let your doctor watch for other problems you might get from the disease, such as arthritis, fractures, or nerve problems.

If you have symptoms or are at risk for other problems from the disease, your doctor may prescribe medicine. Medicine can help reduce the breakdown of bone tissue, control symptoms such as bone pain, and prevent other problems such as arthritis.

  • Bisphosphonates are usually the first medicines prescribed for Paget's disease. They often make the disease inactive, sometimes for years or decades. If it becomes active again, you may need to take this medicine off and on to keep the disease under control.
  • Calcitonin may be prescribed if you have problems with bisphosphonates. It has similar benefits.

If you still have pain while taking your prescribed medicine, you can try:

You might also need other treatments, such as:

  • Physical therapy to build your muscles and improve your balance. This can help reduce falls and prevent broken bones.
  • Splints or braces to support your bones and joints and to help keep weak bones from breaking.
  • A cane or walker to help you avoid falling and breaking a bone.
  • A hearing aid if the disease has caused hearing loss.

Some people may need surgery to replace a damaged hip or knee joint.

What can you do at home for Paget's disease?

There are many things you can do to help yourself when you have Paget's disease.

  • Learn ways to manage your pain. For example, you might keep a pain diary to find out what makes your pain better or worse.
  • Take care to avoid falls. For example, keep your home's walkways free of clutter and electric cords. Put grab bars in your bathroom.
  • Do weight-bearing exercise to keep your bones strong. Walking, dancing, or lifting weights may be good, but make sure that you don't put stress on affected bones. Your doctor or physical therapist can suggest exercises for you.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D. You need both to build strong bones.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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