looking for answers here , as we all are but maybe we are asking the wrong questions....here is some info from an endocrinologist
'the BMD test is a crude way of measuring bone density,it is at best a guide only and does not measure bone quality'.....
which means it is normal for bones to thin as we age but that does not equate to brittle bones ....... because the BMD test says your bones are thin therefore you must have osteoporosis therefore you must be medicated because they have stats to say you will break a bone...........this information comes from pharmacuetical companies adept at fueling the sickness industry.
and some people have allowed their 'condition' to rule their lives
my question is just how many people on this board have actually broken a bone??????? since being diagnosed with osteoporosis
Good question Myth; I'm glad you started this thread. I'll be the first to answer. I've never broken anything (well, the osteo diagnosis has broken my spirit many times, but no bones). And let me tell you, I've had some pretty spectacular falls downhill skiing the black diamonds. I've also slipped on ice a couple of times and landed hard on my backside. I have a soft tissue "dent" from one such episode, but the bones remained intact.
Okay fellow posters, Myth has asked a valid question...let's hear some responses!
I have actually broken two. I broke a wrist several years ago when I tripped over a stage light getting my little dancers on stage during a recital. I fell hard, very hard, and landed on the hand I was using to brace myself from the fall. Last year I broke a small bone in my hand when my husband and I collided handing out Halloween candy!! He turned one way, I turned the other and I crashed my hand between a wall and the ceramic bowl of candy I was carrying.
However, and I find these "howevers" to be big ones - over the course of my teaching I had many children come in with broken bones from falls similar to mine. Are we to believe that children have osteoporosis and that is why they break? My breaks recovered in the normal amount of time - usually six weeks for a complete recovery. I have heard and read stories of women whose breaks do not heal while taking the drugs such as Fosomax and Actonel. How can a bone heal if drugs are stopping the natural process that the body performs to build new bone or heal a break? That is what these drugs do according to the information I have found. They stop the process of replacing old bone with new. In order for a break to heal, new bone must be formed in and around that break.
So yes, I have broken bones, but am I any different than one of my then teenage sons who broke his wrist in a fall very similar to mine? Am I any different than the six year old little dancer who falls on the playground at school? Am I any different in my healing process?
Do I battle my emotions where osteoporosis is concerned? Yes, often. But after much research, combined with much worry and fear, I have come to the conclusion that drugs are not the way to go - at least not now and not for me. I am learning to trust in the strength of my body, for I do believe it is strong. I am wary of the drug companies and the fear they perpetuate without giving out the facts. I am weary of the fears put onto women and what those fears produce years down the road such as we are finding now with HRT.
Do I get scared? Yes. But, for now, I have had to learn to trust my inner instincts and my body. To live in fear of what might be was wasting my life away. So, I dig in the garden, work hard in the house, walk, work out, and live. I also hope that I am not sticking my head in the sand, but until something comes along without these high risks of side effects, something that produces new bone not just covers it with a plastic like substance, and until there is a better way of measuring bone - not just its density, but its strength, I will continue on as I am.
Great Thread, Myth,
My T scores are -3.5 back and hip since I was diagnosed in 2002. About 3 years ago, I sat in a lounge chair on my deck and it collapsed. My tailbone hit the wooden deck and it was so painful I couldn't move for a couple of minutes. But, while my backside was sore for a month, my "fragile" spine didn't collapse like a deck of cards as most doctors warn. I have fallen, stepped off curbs wrong and bashed different parts of my arms and legs into hard objects and have never broken anything.
I believe there are those that have been diagnosed with osteoporosis that have brittle bone disease and those that have strong bones. Now it's up to the scientists to find out the why and do something about it besides putting a whole population of people on drugs just to help those that really need it.
Hello everyone ...i don't think i've ever broken a bone altho i may had hurt my tailbone many moons ago. A couple of weeks ago I stubbed 2 toes on the futon that are still sore. Did i break one? Probably not, but its not something i've dwelled on. I've had some dandy bruises over the years and my share of sprains, but NO i have never broken anything. I totally agree that bone density and bone strength are two different things. I know my density isn't what it was or ever was, but i do know that my bones are strong. Here's another thought...since we never knew what our bones were in out prime how are we to know how much the have lost? For those of us with small frames we may be just a short ways from what we were. There are so many unanswered questions about osteo that we are all swimming in unchartered waters. Had the drug comanies not come up with a "fix" we would still be going our merry ways and not be this concerned about the what might or might not happen in the future. take care...phyllis
I was told in October past that I had OP my lumber was -3.2 and I was classified as moderately high fracture risk and two days later I had spinal fractures. I do have family history of OP and am still recuperating. Is it depressing to have fractures.... very much so... I could not drive. sit, walk.. nothing and it is a very slow process to heal. I also opted for Stontium and calcium mag d k2 boron and fish oil.. I am feeling 85% better but there is no other way of describing it but horrible esp when I was very independent and done everything for myself. all of a sudden I had to ask for help but I know I am one of the group they are talking about that can fracture but hopefully my strontium will work and there will be NO MORE FRACTURES FOR ME!!! As for you guys that are doing everything possible and not fracturing continue on and May you all have strong bones forever! Also prior to this I was not taking any supplements so it was bound to happen with my reading and no nutrients etc. It sure was a wake up call for me and I do not miss my supplements now.. just a little too late but I am trying real hard not to fracture again.
I fell down the steps and broke my back in two places. OUCH!! It was then that my doctor decided that just maybe I needed to have a bone density scan and was diagnosed with osteo. I feel great and have no pain. Jackie
Interesting thread...guess I just assumed that ALL of us were diagnosed after breaking bones!
I fell off a short little utility stool (only 10" off the ground!) 10 years ago and broke my rt. heel...all the toes on that foot, and a little bone at the side! I was in a cast and off work for 3 months...could not even put that foot down on the floor. At the insistance of a good friend, I asked for the bone density...and was diagnosed with advanced osteo. (I had just turned 50)
Since that time, I have broken a wrist twice and an arm once. (And if you count those toe-breaks from this bare-footed old gal...the number would go up!)
I was started on Forteo this past March when the most recent Dexa scan showed my lumbar spine (T-score) at -4.1, rt. forearm at -5.1, and hips at -2.7. At that time, 2 different Doctors told me I am at high risk for spontaneous breaks in any of these places.
I sure wish I could say I have the same wonderful habits as most who post here of exercise/walking...but I do not. My job keeps me on my feet constantly, so I guess that's my excuse! I am an avid gardener also and have learned to pace myself to ease back pain....just don't seem to be able to give that up just yet!
I used to be 5'8", but now measure in at 5'3 1/2"...a shock that brought tears for me. My periods stopped just after the birth of my son when I was 36...and my dark hair started turning grey...now it's very white. A surprise from the Forteo shots is the appearance of lots of black hairs sprouting thruout that white hair! Interesting!............Pam
My heart goes out to everyone who has fractured (whether traumatic, or non-traumatic). Or should I say spontaneous, or non-spontaneous? A fx would be ''traumatic'' (emotionally speaking), whatever the reason. And yes, I of course agree that there are those among us who are MORE susceptible to a spontaneous fx (one which happens for no specific reason, without a fall or a knock, just through bending over or rolling over in bed, for example). These probably ARE the one with the brittle bones. Having said that, I am still of the opinion that the VAST majority of us probably don't fit into that category, and while having being diagnosed with osteo in August of 2006 - AP spine -2.2 and dualfemur -2.5 - I put myself on supplementation of calcium citrate/magnesium citrate/vit d, I decided ''against'' doing more DEXA scans. I walk almost every day for at least an hour or more (can't with the pouring rain in our area now), and lift moderate weight dumb-bells at home. I have NO pain (apart from a little stiffness in the morning, and some arthritis at the base of each thumb).
So - after that little rant - I'll just go on to say that YES, I have suffered a hairline wrist fracture. But it was not a recent event. It happened while I was in my thirties, having regular periods, and nowhere near menopause. And my BMD (although I didn't test it at that time), was probably pretty dense. The healing took place normally (around about a month), very painful, - it was my right wrist, and I'm right-handed - but the healing process went smoothly and without complications. This fx was the result of falling in a pot-hole in the street!
I read an article in today's L.A. Times that the ''patents'' on many prescription drugs (usually a patent lasts about 10 years), will soon be expiring, meaning that these brand name drugs will soon be available in generic form, thereby substantially reducing the cost for those of us who take them. Amongst the drugs mentioned falling into this category was Fosamax. I was prescribed this after my dx, but refused it. Even if it DOES become available in generic form, I STILL would not use it, or any other bisphos, orally or IV.
Neither my husband nor I have ever had a broken bone except for a couple of ribs between us. My 94-year-old grandmother, on the other hand, has had numerous compression fractures in her vertebrae. She is so bent over that she has a hard time looking up from her feet. She no longer shops for clothes, which used to be one of her favorite pastimes, because nobody designs clothes to accommodate dowagers' humps. I look at her and hope I'm not looking at my own future.
I'm 52 now, and I feel like if I wait until I start having fractures before I do something about it, I'll have a tougher time coming back from it. So far I'm doing well with my Evista, but having recently gone through menopause, I imagine from now on it'll be an uphill battle to keep my bones strong.
after reading these responses I have confirmed my conclusion that osteoporosis is a myth because the BMD does not differentuate between thin bones & brittle bones...my definition of true osteoporosis is spontaneous fractures like the lady we have all heard about who walks across the carpet & breaks her leg and my heart goes out to those who do have true osteoporosis ....but for the majority of us who may have thin bones( which happens with age) & if you were small framed to start with naturally your bones will be too ,and everyone shrinks with age....I think we have been sucked into the sickness industry... I started to question the 'experts' when medication was making me sick and after several falls that in theory should have broken my hips and spine just left me with a few bruises.......
so can all the experts be wrong?....... YES
I suggest we all look after our health as best we can , healthy lifestyle, vitamins & exercise is the best insurance...dont subscribe to the sickness industry and enjoy the golden years
I have mixed feelings about all this. The only fracture (that I am aware of) that I have ever suffered was in my left foot when I was 19 years old in 1991. I was studying ballet and modern dance three hours a day six days a week (in addition to taking 18 credits in college and working 26 hours a week) and I banged my foot top side down on a hard floor. I bruised it pretty bad but I kept dancing and jumping on it until finally a bone cracked. Not fun!
I was not diagnosed with osteoporosis until 2006 when I repeatedly nagged my doctors to give me a dexa scan. I had a total hysterectomy and both ovaries removed a year prior and was having (and still am) a terrible time trying to find hormonal balance on hrt. My other risks factors include being underweight, former smoker (quit the day of my osteoporosis diagnosis in 2006), history of anorexia, family history, took Lupron for 4 months, lactose intolerant, hypothyroidism and using Synthroid for over 18 years, and the list goes on. My scores were -3.2 in my spine and -1.8 in my hip.
Because of my age most doctors have not taken my concerns about osteoporosis or dexa results seriously. I guess it's the opposite problem as others. I went to a rheumatologist on my own after my dexa scan and while he did do the standard vitamin D and calcium excretion tests, he found nothing unusual and simply prescribed me Fosomax, refered me back to my primary doctor and sent me on my way with no further explanations or help. I was not satisfied with just taking a pill that I read and heard from others (including my Grandma) that the side effects were horrible and the risk of long term damage from the bisphosphonates was a concern to many. My body is VERY sensitive to chemicals and I have a terrible time with drugs. I can't even handle many vitamin pills except vitamin D tablets. And I have bouts of chronic nausea and gastritis.
And THEN when I reached out for support about my concerns to others I felt might understand my situation, namely various online groups (not this one ) I was told about the whole bone quality versus quantity and the crudeness of dexa scans and how I shouldn't be too worried, that at my age my quality of bone is probably better than someone who is sixty or seventy with the same scores. So what am I supposed to believe? Why wont anyone take my concerns seriously?
I have decided on my own that I am not going to wait until disaster happens to do something about my bones whether they are truly healthy or not. I already have some curvature of my thoracic spine that is very uncomfortable and have to fight to keep a straight posture. I no longer have the beautiful straight and muscular back I had when I was dancing. It disgusts me whether anyone else cares or not. I still can't get any doctor to do an xray or MRI since my pain could be explained away as part of the fibromyalgia I now have. I have not lost any significant height, maybe 1/2 of an inch, but I am still concerned. I have sought out a physical therapy and pain management program on my own and am going to the gym and working with a physical therapist doing weight bearing and cardiovascular exercises on the machines as well as pool therapy. On my own for the last year and a half since my diagnosis I have been lifting dumbells at home and doing resistance exercises with theraband. I also walk a lot. None of this has been easy with fibromyalgia pain that has me in tears quite often. Also on my own since my diagnosis I experimented until I found a calcium/D supplement I can tolerate (Viactiv) and take that daily, along with another vitamin D supplement on it's own and cod liver oil. I have begged and fought with many doctors to let me try various hrt regimans (including progesterone and testosterone as well as Estradiol) until I find something my body feels good on. All have their opinions on what is safe or effective but in the end it is me who has to live with it so it needs to be my choice. I take a hormone patch (Vivelle Dot) right now that i am not altogether happy with but my body does absorb it and my estradiol levels are much higher now. My dexa scores improved significantly in 2007 (-3.0 and -1.4) so I must be doing something right.
I am not going to fool myself that I am safe and because I am young I don't have to worry about falling or fracturing something and dont have to do anything about it. However, I am also not going to put my life into the hands of anyone else and take drugs or hormones or surgery that I am not comfortable with, no matter what threat of my health hangs over me. I already allowed that to happen to me in the past. It's great that we have more choices and more information to help ourselves now than just a generation ago had. We have to do what we feel is best for ourselves with all the information we can gather. We are all unique and one size does not fit all.
ps. This last dexa that I had the technician measured more parts of my body than before. She measured my wrists and I assumed since I have tiny wrists that are not very strong that my scores there would be lower. To my surprise my wrists were in normal range! I can't remember the exact score but something like +.1? I used to push a heavy mail cart around a huge medical complex everyday for my job before I was hit with fibromyalgia (now I work part time as a records clerk) so maybe that has something to do with it? My Grandma has broken her wrists several times just lifting grocery bags. I will have to find out what her wrist scores are if she knows. Interesting thread!
Hi: I've had 6 vertebral fx's in the lumbar and sacrum. The first one was from a car accident where I was rear ended, so that wouldn't be a fragility fx. I had to surgery for that (fusion and hardware) and other problems in my spine and racked up another 5 fx's that were the fragility or spontaneous kind. I don't know exactly how the last 5 fx's occured but it was probably something like lifting or bending, because those are the things that really hurt.
I've never fallen or been in any other accident so somehow I fx'd several more vertebras and fusions. I've had 7 spinal surgeries in all, and one where the hardware just fell out of the bone when it collapsed. I have chronic pain from all this, but I get through the day with PT, limited exercise, and upper body weight bearing. I also take aqua therapy and that helps some too. It just doesn't do much for bone strenthening.