What are bone eating diseases?

There are notable bone eating or osteolytic diseases that you should be familiar with. The bones are structures made out of living tissue and provide the body with structural support. The cortical bone forms the exterior layer of the bones and responsible for most of the mass of the skeletal bone. As for the cancellous bone, it is a sponge-like material within the structure and accounts for the remaining skeletal bone form. These osteolytic or bone eating diseases disrupts with the overall bone structure, changing bone integrity and putting an individual at risk for fractures.


Osteoporosis is a bone eating disease that eats away both cortical and trabecular bone, resulting to large-sized holes in the bones. Take note that these holes reduces the structural integrity of the bone and without enough cortex and trabeculae, the affected bone can crack and collapse easily when under stress, such as compression stress. It simply means that an individual has a higher risk for fractures if he/she has osteoporosis.

Even though any bone can be affected by osteoporosis, cases that involve the spine and hip are considered the most hazardous. Osteoporosis-related fractures in these areas require hospitalization and surgery.

Bone eating diseases

Even though any bone can be affected by osteoporosis, cases that involve the spine and hip are considered the most hazardous.

Paget’s disease of the bone

Paget’s disease is a bone eating disease which causes the bones to grow large in size and weak. Normally, the old bone is constantly being replaced with new bone which is called remodeling. This disease disrupts this process which causes the breaking down of old bone faster than new bone can be produced. Over time, the body changes the amount of new bone being produced in such a way in which new bone growth is rapid than usual. The fast generation of new bone causes the bones to enlarge, but the bone formed is soft and weak which predisposes an individual to bone pain, fractures and deformities.

Multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a bone eating disease. It is described as a cancer of the bone marrow specifically the white blood cells that are known as plasma cells. These plasma cells are responsible for producing antibodies and a carcinomatous plasma cell is known as a myeloma cell.

This condition is called multiple myeloma since there are several patches in a bone where the tumors develop. The progression of multiple myeloma tends to vary from one individual to another. Even though it progresses at a slow rate, it can be more aggressive in some individuals.

The usual health issues linked with multiple myeloma include high protein levels in the blood and urine, anemia, bone fractures, reduced immunity and elevated blood calcium. An X-ray of the affected area often reveals bone with a moth-eaten appearance.

If an individual is suspected with any of these bone eating diseases, it is best to consult a doctor for further assessment as well as start the right treatment.


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