Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell neoplasm. The type B cells of the lymph cells that normally respond to infection and are found in the marrow grow out of control. This tumor develops usually in the bone marrow and is referred to as a myeloma. Therefore, more than one myeloma is considered “multiple myeloma”. It is incurable with a mortality rate within one- three years. It will affect the bones with most marrow such as the vertebrae, ribs, skull, pelvis and femur.
It can be overlooked as back pain or can be mistaken for an osteoporotic collapse. Often frequent and persistent infection is involved as well as kidney damage and multiple myeloma can affect the nervous system with compression to the spinal cord and nerve roots. A persistent backache with the loss of height needs to be examined closely. Pain can be sharp, knife-like and moderate to severe. It starts intermittent and progresses to constant. Night pain, fatigue, and weight loss are also present.
[i] Shah, D. et al. Multiple Myeloma. emedicine.medscape.com. Dec 4, 2015. web. Jan 12, 2016.
[ii] Jones, J. et al. Multiple Myeloma. Physio-pedia.com. n.d. web Jan 12 2016.