Times of India
30 April 2010
By Pratibha Masand
G Jayaraman, 57, battled problems in his limbs for more than seven years. Other than constant pain, he experienced a limp while walking, problems in quick movement and developed an arch in his left leg. It was only four years ago that the doctors suspected that he may be suffering from Paget’s disease, which not only causes changes in a bone’s appearance, but also bends the joints.
“ The bone in my left leg starting bending, there was pain in joints and I couldn’t walk very fast. Because of this, I had problems travelling by public transport,” said Jayaraman.
Today, Jayaraman is back on his feet. “ When he came to us, the bone in his left leg had bent in the front like an arch. Since the whole bone was curved, we cut it into three pieces. Plus, we inserted a long titanium plate which was secured with screws. Some bends were grafted as well,” said Dr Sachin Bhonsale, consultant joint replacement surgeon in Fortis Hospital, who operated on Jayaraman in November last year. “ Only one in 10 lakh people in India get the disease,” he added.
Other doctors agree that Paget’s disease is rare in the country. “ It is comparatively more prevalent among the Caucasian race. But even in India, we do find these cases; I have treated five such cases. Most of the time, people suffering from Paget’s get a fracture as their bones become weak. So we have to treat the fractures and mend the bends in the bone. However, the disease itself cannot be treated,” said Dr Pradeep Bhonsale, head of orthopedic in KEM Hospital.
The cause of the disease remains unknown till date and orthopedics claim that it is also difficult to diagnose. “ It is a metabolic disorder that causes excessive bone formation. It can affect any bone of the body and the affected bone becomes brittle, expanded, tense and may also widen, become fragile and lose its shape. Generally, Paget’s affect bones around the hip,” said Dr Vijay Shetty, consultant orthopedic surgeon at Hiranandani hospital.