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Old 05-15-2007, 08:02 AM   #1
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steroid injections and osteoporosis

I just talked to my Endocrinologist to see if getting steroid injections for my back would affect my osteoporosis. She said one injection is fine, but more than one will start causing bone loss. She said Fosamax will help, but I'm not taking any chances, especially since my doctor wanted me to get 3. I'm feeling better now about not getting them, although there aren't a lot of other alternatives for pain management.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

[COLOR="Navy"]I odn't blame you. The other thing I have learned about the injections is that over time they will cause damage to the nerves themselves. My therapist said that over time they damage the covering of the nerve itself. Just what you need. Something more to cause issues. This may be why they only allow you three shots in a year.

My surgeon keeps offering to give me an injection in my SI joint. I keep smiling at him and telling him I'll schedule it later. So far I have managed to avoid having it done. I would rather grit my teeth and sit in the hot tub and walk up and down the hall for awhile and avoid another shot if I can....[/COLOR]

 
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

Thanks Tigger and Ibake,

Just another thing for me to learn from. I also have osteoprosis, and the latest dexa showed worsening. For awhile, I was gettting the epidurals, and trigger point inj. This had actually went on for 3 years. Geez, now I know why!!

Thanks for the info, no more shots for me.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I have osteopenia, too. If necessary, for severe pain that won't let up, I am allowed one or two injections a year. If you take fosomax, it would be even safer. I can't afford it, it isn't covered by Medicare Part D, so I take 1200mg of calcium daily. It must be working okay because I had a fusion in Feb and in 6 weeks both sides were almost completely fused. And 1 inj for something like the SI joint won't hurt anything.

Carol
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2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

 
Old 05-15-2007, 05:31 PM   #5
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I have osteopenia, too. If necessary, for severe pain that won't let up, I am allowed one or two injections a year. If you take fosomax, it would be even safer. I can't afford it, it isn't covered by Medicare Part D, so I take 1200mg of calcium daily. It must be working okay because I had a fusion in Feb and in 6 weeks both sides were almost completely fused. And 1 inj for something like the SI joint won't hurt anything.

Carol
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2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

 
Old 05-15-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I was taking the fosamax as well, but my insurance decided to quit covering it. So, I don't take it anymore either. I do take the calcium but not that amount.

Thanks for the info. Take care.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 08:03 PM   #7
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

Hi Carol and Tucsonlady: Have either of you tried to appeal your insurances decision on fosamax? I've never heard of an insurance that doesn't cover "some" osteo med. I know with my MediCare Part D they pay for it, but there are other things they don't. In my case where I needed to take something and it wasn't covered I did an appeal, where your Dr fills out the paperwork and faxs it to them stating that the drug is medically necessary. I was able to get them to cover things that they didn't cover in the past.

Just an idea; I know a lot of instances where people were sucessful with this process. Fosamax is going off patent next year so maybe they will cover the generic. But if you have osteoporosis, you should take something, whether its a serm (evista), bisphosphonate (fosamax, actonel etc), or pth, plus calcium/D/magnesium and exercise if you can. Will your Drs give you samples??? I'm on a osteo med where my copay is 60.00 a mo (injectable parathyroid hormone) and now that I'm in the coverage gap/donut hole the retail price is 676.00 a mo, so I'm getting the med from my Dr since she say's I "have" to take it, and I certainly can't pay 676.00 a mo, so if she wasn't giving it to me I'd be up a creek so to speak These meds expire too, so if they don't give away the samples they have to toss them.

Good luck...

Last edited by DesertBloom; 05-15-2007 at 08:19 PM.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I do have ostheopenia also and i was told that steroids can cause bone loss and also i was told steroids can cause cancer.

I confirmed all this with my PM Doctor; he said that only if in a big dosages. What is a big dose is? I had 9 of them in a spine already, i had 2 in a shoulder, 6 in my both knees and now he wants to inject SI Joint and facet joint! I told him i have to think about - really don't want to go- especially since non of the spinal shots helped me at all. Shoulder and knees were helped though.

Last edited by Moldova; 05-16-2007 at 07:52 AM.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 08:03 AM   #9
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I'm trying to decide about getting injections for sciatica. I've read that for those who do get relief, it is short-lived, and the injections don't markedly delay the need for surgery. Has anyone has success with steroids for sciatica?

 
Old 05-16-2007, 09:02 AM   #10
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

Sorry, not me! I wish i could say yes.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 09:47 AM   #11
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

Hi Indiana,

I'm also sorry, I've had no luck either. I hope that you do though!! I know that others have.

Take care and good luck if you get them.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

Sorry no luck here either. However, there are some people on the board that have experienced relief. Hopefully they will chime in here.

 
Old 05-17-2007, 07:30 AM   #13
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I had never heard that and I have researched this to some degree. I had 6 injections within 2 years! I have scoliosis, osteoporosis and re-herniated disc, plus degenerative back disease. Thanks for info.

 
Old 05-17-2007, 07:39 AM   #14
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I suppose the question is whether the benefits outweigh the risks of trying these injections. Do people have an opinion?

 
Old 05-17-2007, 07:53 AM   #15
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Re: steroid injections and osteoporosis

I have a lot of injections (unfortunately for my osteopenia)! But, they have helped my arthritis a lot. I have bad arthritis in my SI joints and have been getting the injections every 3 months (have had 3 so far). They last about 2 months for me, and my doctor wants me to stretch it til 3 months, so we will be doing about 4 per year. I do notice that it is worse in the winter. In the past I was getting facet injections, but now I do the nerve burning for my lumbar area (radio frequency). I am glad about this, as it is not another injection. I also get shots in my knees about every 3-5 months, they seem to last longer. I was told this is because the knee is a large joint that holds the cortisone longer than the back joints. I wish I did not need to get so many injections, but they really work for my arthritis. I take extra calcium/multivitamin and miacalcin spray for my osteopenia. I tried fosamax before, but had a bad reaction where my joints flared the day after I took it, so my doctor switched me to miacalcin spray. I do worry about osteoporosis, since it also runs in my family. But, you do what you need to do! Good luck, Kera4

 
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