What are the skeletal complications of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: May 11, 2021
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Bone disease may result in the following:

  • Severe bone pain, pathologic fracture due to lytic lesions: Lytic disease or fracture may be observed on plain radiographs.
  • Increased bone resorption leading to hypercalcemia
  • Spinal cord compression: This is one of the most severe adverse effects of MM. Reports indicate that as many as 20% of patients develop spinal cord compression at some point during the course of their disease. Symptoms typically include back pain, weakness or paralysis in the legs, numbness, or dysesthesias in the lower extremities. However, depending on the level of involvement, patients may present with upper-extremity symptoms.

Radiculopathy and/or cord compression may occur because of skeletal destruction and nerve compression.

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