Hi, I recently learned I have severe osteoprosis and have lots of unanswered questions. I am 41 years old, premenopause, smoker for 20+ years, thin and small frame. Also nursed 2 babies, first for 1 year, 2cd for almost 2.
I have been having problems with my rt arm for several months related to nerve damage. I had an adverse reaction to a tetanus booster in Feb that triggered an inflamation of multiple nerves in rt arm and shoulder. Apparantly had pre-existing damage to trapezius muscle in rt shoulder as well, but other muscles had been compensating. After the shot, the rt shoulder dropped, and have had ongoing nerve problems ever since. In going the rounds of the Dr's, I saw an orthopedic surgeon. He told me I have scoliosis from childhood, and took an xray that showed 22 degree thoracic curve, with smaller corresponding curve in the c-spine. I have had many physicals over the years and no one had detected scoliosis before, plus I am measuring an inch shorter than I used to, so I asked my GP abt a dexascan. I haven't gotten my exact T or Z scores, but nurse told me I was 8 times the baseline
for fractures for my age. Can anyone help me interpret that? I asked the Dr. how severe this was on a scale of mild to severe, and he said severe. All blood work came back fine, calcium, Vit D and thyroid levels are normal. There is no family history of osteo to my knowledge. I do drink a lot of coffee and soda, not enough water, and most nights have a glass or two of wine. I know I need to quit smoking and modify my lifestyle, but don't really know what to cut out or cut back or add to my diet. I am taking Calcium and Vit D and have been taking Fosamax for last 6 wks.
My back has been bothering me lately, and I think the nerve damage in the arm, which causes muscle spasms in the shoulder girdle and neck, may be part of the cause of the curvature, or at least an aggravating factor. I am a teacher, carried heavy bags of books on rt shoulder for years, which is likely what caused the trapezius injury. I wonder if the heavy, eccentric loading could lead to the curvature of the spine due to my bone being so thin? I am hoping to get my GP to order a CT scan soon to get a better look at the condition of the vertebrae, see if there is compression fracture. I really need more info, I worry whenever I carry any weight that I am causing further damage, even sleeping on my side makes me nervous unless I lie completely straight. I know the Fosamax can stop bone loss and maybe I can regrow some bone, but what is the likelihood of the curvature stopping or progressing? Am also a bit worried abt the Fosamax side effects I have read about here, I have not had any problems with it, but the cancer stuff is scary.
Sorry for rambling on so, I just have so little information about what is happening, would really appreciate any info or advice!
Can't offer a lot of answers, but a CT is not necessary to see if you have compressed fractures of your thoracic spine. A plain x-ray of the area is faster, easier and cheaper and will provide the answers for that particular question. (BTW, I've worked in radiology for over 30 years.)
I am done having children, so that is not an issue; what other side effects should I be concerned about premenopause? Are there other better alternatives for stopping the bone loss and building new bone?
I had an x-ray of the spine, don't know what it shows, the ortho took it to "prove" I had scoliosis from childhood, he didn't look for anything else. If I hadn't asked for the dexascan, the osteo wd not have been found til I broke something! Will ask GP to look more closely at the xray; also wonder if MRI wd be useful to see if there are any lesions as I have so much nerve damage. Mid-back is bothering me quite a bit, not horrendous pain, but constant discomfort. Am afraid the muscle spasms and constant pulling from the dropped shoulder are aggravating the curvature as well.
Thanks for the info, I have so little knowledge abt this, and so many questions!
Hi bjones, I think the reason for only prescribing the fosamax to postmenopausal women is that you are still making estrogen, which is important for bones. Are you going to a specialist or a regular md? If you are going to a regular md you may want to do some studying into the facts about pre and postmeno and the meds that you need to be taking for your problem. There are several excellent sites that have a lot of info on the subject. Hope this helps.
I know my calcium, Vit D, and thyroid levels all came back normal, I wonder if estrogen level wd have been checked? If so, was not told. If estrogen is low, then wd birth control pills be appropriate? Otherwise I suspect that I am just not absorbing calcium due to the smoking. That is my next and hardest task - I know I have to do it, but will not be easy.....
I am also taking calcium citrate + D, but don't always remember them, today I picked up calcium chews thinking I might be better about taking them.
I have been having minor but constant back aches for past few weeks, had none before starting Fosomax, do you think it is related?
Yes, the back pain may be connected to the fosamax. It also may be connected to the fact that you are still making estrogen, and the fosamax may be inapproptriate for your condition. You may want to ask your doctor about your taking the fosamax and not being post menopausal. There are other bone medicines that may be better for you. Hope this helps.
I am very new to the board as well. I need help posting in the correct spot so please be nice to me. I had an x-ray done on my neck on friday and they said I have a curve in my neck but said it was spasms. I really dont agree it is chronic. But I do believe they can see with just an xray but get more than one opinion.