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Paget's Disease - You Have Options

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As discussed in my previous article on Paget’s disease, this is essentially a chronic condition that effects how your body breakdown and rebuilds bone tissue. So, if you have been diagnosed, let’s talk next about how to treat this disease.

Most cases of this condition can be treated with medicine that helps reduce the speed of the breakdown of your bone tissue. Combined with the medication, it may also be beneficial to consider a splint or brace. They provide a lot of support to the affected bones and joints, and help – not stop – your weakened bones from being susceptible to breaking or fracturing. In a more severe situation where your balance is in question, a cane or walker may be extremely helpful in aiding your movements and stabilizing you, preventing a serious fall.

In addition to the above methods of treatment, physical therapy can make huge a huge impact on your ability to go about your daily routine as normally as possible. When committing to it – because it can become tedious and strenuous – the positives outweigh the negatives. You will gain strength in the muscles that surround the effected bones and joints, improve your balance that can make the difference between needing a walker or not, and increase your endurance so you can get through your day without cutting your favorite activities out.

In some cases of Paget’s disease, these forms of treatment just won’t cut it. Whether you can’t find relief, or you are just plain out of options, surgery may be your best bet. When a joint has been damaged from this condition, a joint replacement surgery (generally hip or knee) are not only common for patients with Paget’s, but provide much relief and have proven successful. The other type of surgery available for those with Paget’s is called osteotomy. Surgeons can remove a wedge of bone, which helps reshape the remaining bone to be more effective. You should speak to your doctor to see if you are a good candidate for this before a complete joint replacement is considered.

Bones aside, Paget’s disease can also cause nerve problems. When bones rebuild it is common for a nerve to be pinched, especially when extra bone form in the spine. To relieve the pressure and pain, surgery may be necessary.

Although this disease cannot necessarily be prevented, you can stave off complications by maintaining a healthy diet and weight, and participating in low-impact exercises regularly. However, in the instance where complications arise from Paget’s, it is important to understand what type of problems you could be facing.

First and foremost, many cases of Paget’s disease lead to osteoarthritis because of the amount of weakened and lost cartilage and bone tissue. In addition to your risk of arthritis, your nervous system is at risk for a pinched nerve, and you may possibly experience hearing loss or ringing in your ears due to damage to the tiny bones in your ears, vision loss or blindness, headaches and dizziness, weakness and numbing in your limbs, and kidney stones. In a rare occurrence, you may experience heart failure, bone cancer and hyperparathyroidism. It is imperative to speak with your doctor about these complications to see where you may fall in terms of the chances of experiencing them. Remember, they are rare, but it is important to understand that it is a possibility and you should know your risk and be prepared. The best piece of advice I can give you is to do plenty of research and ask as many questions as possible so you have the best chance of living the most normal lifestyle as you can.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.