This is a common, nonmetabolic disease of bone of unknown cause. It usually affects middle-aged and elderly people and is characterized by excessive bone destruction and unorganized bone repair.
Throughout life, the skeleton is constantly remodeled. Large cells called osteoclasts secrete enzymes that break down or reabsorb bone.
In healthy bone the activity of osteoclasts is balanced by that of osteoblasts, cells that secrete collagen and other proteins needed to form new bone.
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