Features

There is no specific identifying feature that sets apart this disease from other conditions. It is usually detected as an afterthought, and patients rarely go to their doctor with complaints specific to the condition. The disease is a chronic, slowly progressing one, and it is very rarely found in the young. This more frequently affects men than women. The main feature of the disease is the slowly growing bone, which does not seem to have the ability to stop. In most cases, patients complain that their dentures are not fitting since the bone has become too large for them. This is the way most cases of Paget's are detected. Another example, especially in the western countries, is that of an ill-fitting hat because the skull keeps on growing. Some of the other features of this disease are:

  • Bone pain
  • Severe headache
  • Deafness - This is due to the constriction of the VIII cranial nerve, the vestibulocochlear nerve in its foramen as the bone closes in on it.
  • Facial paralysis- Here again the closure of the foramen is the cause for paralysis. It could affect just one side of the face or both sides depending on which foramen is involved.
  • Spinal deformities
  • Bowing of the legs
  • Broadening and flattening of the chest
  • Patients assume a 'simian' appearance due to the uncontrolled deposition of bone.
  • Teeth become enlarged, loosen and may shift their positions in the jaws.
  • The lips are too short to cover the huge proportion to which the jaws have grown.
  • Fractures are uncommon and when they do occur, the healing is normal.

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