In her STEAM piece, entitled Paget’s Disease of the Bone Clay Model Comparison, artist Katherine LeBlanc has created dual models of the human femur from clay. One is designed to depict “normal” bone tissue, and is meant to portray an unaffected femur, whereas the model on the right depicts a bone affected by Paget’s disease.
The effects of Paget’s on the bone are thickening and bending of the femoral shaft, which is clearly visible when placed side by side with the “healthy” bone on the left. LeBlanc has additionally labelled (and shown in greater detail), those areas of the bone most likely to be affected by Paget’s disease; the greater trochanter, shaft, and medial and lateral condyles. The shape of the affected bone indicates that the deformities caused by Paget’s disease can have effects across the skeletal structure, placing the knee and potentially hips out of alignment, causing motility and structural issues for the afflicted patient.
Paget’s disease is a generative rather than degenerative bone disease; osteoblasts create bone tissue faster than osteoclasts can break it apart, causing bones to grow thicker and out of alignment compared to femur tissue that maintains homeostatic balance in healthy bone tissue.
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