Is there a test for Paget’s disease?

Some common tests that doctors order to diagnose Paget’s disease include:

  • X-ray. This is the most common test that doctors use to diagnose the disease.
  • Blood test. A blood test can check for an enzyme in your blood that may be a sign of the disease.
  • Bone scan. A bone scan is a test that helps doctors identify which bones are affected by Paget’s disease. The test may help your doctor understand the extent of the disease.

How is Paget’s disease treated?

Treatment can help you manage your symptoms but does not cure the disease. The goal of your treatment is to:

  • Slow down or stop the changes to your bone.
  • Lower your chance of having complications.
  • Ease bone and joint pain.
  • Repair breaks (fractures).

Doctors may recommend the following to help treat and manage the disease:

  • Medications, such as bisphosphonates or calcitonin.
  • Surgery to correct problems from the complications of the disease, such as fractures or arthritis that leads to the need for a joint replacement.
  • Exercise – such as walking or lifting weights – to build strong bones and help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Diet to ensure you get enough calcium and vitamin D.

Who treats Paget’s disease?

Paget’s disease can affect many parts of the body. You may need to see more than one type of doctor, including:

  • Endocrinologists, who treat hormonal and metabolic disorders.
  • Rheumatologists, who treat joint and muscle disorders.
  • Neurologists, who treat disorders and diseases of the spine, brain, and nerves.
  • Orthopaedic surgeons, who treat bone injuries and disease.
  • Otolaryngologists, who treat ear, nose, and throat disorders.

Living with Paget’s disease

Current treatments can help most people with Paget’s disease lead productive lives. When you follow your doctor’s treatment plan, you may lower the chance of developing complications or major changes in your bones. You should also:

  • Maintain a healthy weight, which is particularly important if Paget’s disease has led to arthritis of the hip or knee.
  • Prevent falls by:
    • Checking your home for dangers such as loose rugs and poor lighting.
    • Installing grab bars and handrails.
    • Using nonskid mats in the bathroom and tub.
    • Having regular eye exams.
    • Increasing your balance and strength by exercising every day.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle to maintain good bone health. Do not smoke, and if you do smoke, quit. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.