Complication: Bone Disease
Bone problems (osteolytic lesions and osteoporosis) are another major complication in multiple myeloma. Myeloma cells form masses in the bone marrow that may disrupt the bone structure. Additionally, myeloma cells secrete substances that interfere with bone repair and growth. In most individuals with myeloma, damage to the bone structure results in soft spots, or osteolytic lesions. These soft spots appear as “holes” on a standard bone x-ray. Several treatment options are available to reduce multiple myeloma related bone loss or bone pain.
With weakened bones, multiple myeloma patients have an increased risk of fracture, and the bones most commonly affected are the spine pelvis and rib cage. In Addition to fractures, myeloma patients are also at risk of spinal cord compression. Spinal cord compression is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment in order to avoid long term damage.