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any one of a group of bone diseases that are characterized by deformity of different parts of the skeleton owing to metabolic disorders. Osteodystrophy can be parathyroid, deforming, local fibrous, toxic, or related to diseases of the internal organs; the first two types are the commonest. Spontaneous bone resorption is the extreme type of osteodystrophy.
Parathyroid osteodystrophy is an endocrine disease that develops with parathyroid tumors and with the release of excess quantities of parathyroid hormone. Considerable resorption occurs throughout the skeleton. The treatment is surgical, involving resection of the parathyroid gland. Unlike parathyroid osteodystrophy, deforming osteodystrophy affects one or only a few bones. The pathogenesis of deforming osteodystrophy is unknown, and treatment is symptomatic. Deforming osteodystrophy is conducive to the development of osteosarcomas.