Paget’s disease affects the normal repair and renewal process of bone. Throughout life, bone is renewed and repaired through a process called bone remodelling. Paget’s disease is characterised by abnormalities in this process. The affected bone is renewed and repaired at an increased rate, adversely affecting the bone’s structure. Bone affected by Paget's disease may be enlarged and misshapen.
Paget’s disease can occur in any bone, often causes no symptoms and may be found by chance. For those with symptoms, these may include pain, deformity and fracture. Either single or multiple bones may be affected with common sites being the spine, skull, pelvis and thigh (femur).
The risk of developing Paget’s disease increases with age and it is most commonly diagnosed in those over 50 years. Paget’s disease is the second most common metabolic bone disease after osteoporosis. Approximately 1% of people in the UK, over the age of 55 years, are thought to be affected. The condition is also common in other European countries such as France, Spain and Italy and in people of European descent who have emigrated to other regions of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada.