Osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease of the bone are completely different conditions but have symptoms that are similar to one another.
Paget’s disease of the bone usually causes disruption of the normal bone recycling process where the old bone tissues are replaced with new bone tissues. After a long period of disruption the affected bones become weak and prone to fractures.
The Paget’s disease of the bone commonly affects the skull, pelvis, legs and the spine.
Paget’s disease commonly affects the old people and its risks increases with age. Another risk of the Paget’s disease is if one of your family members had or has the disorder you are likely to develop it too. Paget’s disease of the bone can affect one or a few bones. The cause of Paget’s disease is not known.
The Paget’s disease of the bone complications include hearing loss, broken bones and pinched nerve in your spine.
Osteoarthritis on the other hand is one of the common forms of arthritis. It is commonly called wear and tear arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down after a period of time.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joints in the body but it commonly affects the joints in the neck, hand, knees, and hips and lower back.
Osteoarthritis does not have a cure but there are drugs which are used to treat it. These drugs help in slowing the progress of osteoarthritis and also help in relieving pain and improve the joint function.
You can develop both osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease of the bone but not everyone has both diseases. People who have both diseases can be as a result of osteoarthritis causing Paget’s disease while others will have both diseases but not related to each other or caused by one.
Osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease of the bone can be distinguished from each other even though they share several symptoms. Both osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease of bone can cause bone and joint pain.
It is difficult for doctors to tell which condition is causing the bone and joint pain in people who have osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease of bone because the joint and bone pain can be experienced in the same areas of the body.
There is no single test that can be used to diagnose osteoarthritis. Several tests have to be done for the diagnosis. If you suffer from both osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease of the bone the following can be used in diagnosis: blood tests, x-ray images, and examination of the fluid drawn from the affected joints. Blood and urine tests can also be used to detect other factors which can cause arthritis. The changes in the bone revealed by x-ray images can help the doctor to diagnose the two diseases but if the two diseases have affected the same area of the body it is difficult to distinguish between the two. For accurate diagnosis the doctor should be keen so as to administer effective treatment.
Even though Paget’s disease of the bone and osteoarthritis are two different diseases there are links between the two diseases. The bone changes in people with Paget’s disease can affect the functions of the nearby joints. This can be the trigger of osteoarthritis. Paget’s disease can cause osteoarthritis in cases where there are changes in the normal curvature of the spine, when Paget’s disease softens the pelvis and the hip joint is affected, when there is changes in the shape of the bones under the cartilage of the joint and when the Paget’s disease cause long bones to bend resulting to stress on the joints.
Even though Paget’s disease and osteoarthritis have some similarities in symptoms the treatment for the diseases are different. For people who have both diseases it is good to identify the disease which is causing the pain so that you can select effective treatment. If both diseases are not treated the patients might experience symptoms such as pain which can be originating from one of the disease which has not been treated.
Osteoarthritis therapy is used to relieve pain, reduce swelling and improve joint functions. There are several treatment approaches for osteoarthritis and Paget’s disease. These include weight control, exercise, pain relief techniques, drug prescription, over the counter medicine and alternative therapies such as nutritional supplements and acupuncture. In cases where the condition is chronic surgery can be helpful.
The Paget’s therapy helps in relieving pain and slowing the progress of the disease. Treatment for Paget’s disease include over the counter medication, specific type of exercise and surgery in cases where medications and exercises are not effective.
For more information on osteoarthritis, contact:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
For more information about Paget’s disease, contact:
NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center
Toll free: 800-624-BONE (2663)
The Paget Foundation for Paget’s Disease of Bone and Related Disorders