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Diseases of Excessive Bone Growth

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Diseases of Excessive Bone Growth
There are several diseases that cause excessive bone growth. Photo Credit x-ray image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com

There are several diseases that cause excessive bone growth. According to Ohio State University Medical Center or OSUMC, bone is a living tissue that helps shape and support a person's body and protects numerous organs, and because bone functions are often complex, there are many disorders or diseases that can manifest in a person's bones. Some diseases cause excessive bone growth that can affect a person's quality of life and lead to more serious complications.


Acromegaly is a disease associated with excessive bone growth. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases--a division of the National Institutes of Health--acromegaly is a hormonal disorder caused by excessive growth hormone in the body. In a person with acromegaly, the pituitary--an endocrine gland situated at the brain's base--generates abnormal amounts of growth hormone, often due to benign pituitary tumors or adenomas. The NIDDK states that one of the most common symptoms associated with acromegaly is the abnormal growth of a person's hands and feet, and that, over time, there are bone changes in a person's face, such that his jaw protrudes, his nasal bone gets bigger and his teeth space out. Other common symptoms associated with acromegaly include joint pain, headaches and impaired vision, among many others. If adenomas cause increased growth hormone during childhood, the disease is known as gigantism instead of acromegaly.

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Paget's Disease

Paget's disease of bone, or simply Paget's disease, is a disease associated with excessive bone growth. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases or NIAMS--a division of the National Institutes of Health--states that Paget's disease is a chronic condition that can cause bone enlargement and misshapen bones, and that the disease is often localized, affecting only one or several bones. Although some people may be unaware that they have Paget's disease--because they do not experience symptoms--others may experience multiple symptoms or complications. Common symptoms associated with Paget's disease include pain that occurs in the affected bone or bones, headaches, hearing impairment, increased head size, bowed limbs, increased spinal curvature, hip pain and arthritis. According to the NIAMS, Paget's disease most often occurs in a person's spine, pelvis, legs or skull. Paget's disease does not spread to normal, healthy bones.


Melorheostosis is a disease associated with excessive bone growth. According to the Melorheostosis Association--a not-for-profit organization dedicated to curing melorheostosis--melorheostosis is a rare and progressive disorder that involves hyperostosis or thickening of cortical bone--the dense outer shell of most bones--and that melorheostosis is a development disorder affecting both bone and soft tissue. The Melorheostosis Association states that melorheostosis can cause significant functional impairment, along with pain, muscle, tendon and ligament contracture or shortening and limb, hand and foot deformity. According to the Medcyclopaedia website, melorheostosis is associated with the following diseases: osteopoikilosis, osteopathia striata, neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis and hemangiomas. X-ray findings for melorheostosis reveal bony growth along cortical bone that resembles melted candle wax flowing down the side of a lit candle.

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