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Old 08-13-2011, 08:39 AM   #1
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frogholler HB User
Unhappy Compression fractures of the spine

I am a 73 year old female and I've been battling compression fractures due to osteoporosis. My first fracture was in Dec. 2009. I got over that after about 6 weeks and then this May, I coughed and had another fracture. I've been in pain ever since and my hump is getting more pronounced. I was 5' 4/12" and now I am 4'11. I started having breathing problems around 5 or 6 years ago and was told I had COPD. I refused any drug treatments and now I feel that I don't have it at all but that my lungs are being compressed from my spine collapsing. Around 10 days ago, my whole rib cage area started hurting, especially on the left hand side in the back. I can't lie down on my right side as the pain gets worse. I was on HRT for about 20 years back in the early 80's through the 90's and I feel that taking it has been part of the cause. I also feel that ingesting fluoride hasn't helped either. I am also a ex-smoker. I quit over 20 years ago. I went to a spinal clinic about a month ago for a evaluation and the Dr. had me bend forward, back, and twist side to side. That really did me in and I suffered horrible muscle spasms ( which I had never had before) for about 2 weeks afterward. I can't understand why he did that to me, knowing I had this fracture. It's like going to a Dr. with a broken arm and having it twisted around before putting on a cast. I am in hopes of getting to see a highly recommended surgeon that specializes in degenerative disc disease and hopefully get something done before I have complete collaspe of the spine. The only pain medication I am on is a couple Advils a day. I am also having incontinence problems and going to therapy for that. I will keep you posted on how I am progressing. I have a Aug. 19 appointment with that Dr. to go over my MRI scan results. I will not let him lay a hand on me this time.

 
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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turtlelady HB Userturtlelady HB Userturtlelady HB User
Re: Compression fractures of the spine

You have my sympathy! I went through a similar experience a few years back (before I turned 60). The incontinence may well be a stenosis (pressure on the spinal cord itself)
issue. Mine required surgery to repair. Two more surgeries (to repair the damage caused by the first) and two years on Forteo (to strengthen the bone) and I am again relatively upright and completely pain free (although still five inches shorter than I was).
I wish you the very best of luck! Keep us posted on your progress.

 
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: Compression fractures of the spine

Thank you for your support. Since my post, I pulled a boner and lifted a heavy skillet yesterday to add more pain in lower back. And I know that I do have stenosis as well according to my MRI report. God, I hope that the surgeon will be able to help me. He's suppose to be a top notch Dr. with a sterling reputation and I've met one lady that he helped a few years back. She is in her 70's or 80's. So glad that you have been helped. Will keep you posted.

 
Old 08-14-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: Compression fractures of the spine

frogholler,
Sorry to hear about your fractures, pain and breathing problems. I hope the surgeon you will be seeing can help you. When you say you got over the compression fractures, do you mean you had surgery or the pain subsided?

I have three spine fractures and I'm not sure how I got them but these showed up on xrays and MRI's. I didn't have any treatment done so they remain. I usually don't have pain although if I'm twisting around or getting an exam with a doctor moving me around, I do get pain afterwards and muscle spasms. I guess I'm not alone in getting muscle spasms, I still can't figure out why I get so many.

Let us know how your surgical appointment goes.

 
Old 08-15-2011, 11:34 AM   #5
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Re: Compression fractures of the spine

Hi Taape, Thank you so much for replying to my message. My first fracture healed after a number of weeks in 09. I had pain as soon as it happened. I slept in the recliner chair while it healed as it was too painful to lie down. My second fracture is higher up. I'm going to see the spinal Dr. again this fri. I'm in hopes that he'll set up a appointment with the surgeon. I'll let you know. If you are having muscle spasms, try not to bend or twist. No Dr. should have you do that if you have a fracture. You are very lucky that you arn't in pain. Do you have the hump or osteoporosis of the spine like me?

 
Old 08-15-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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taape HB Usertaape HB User
Re: Compression fractures of the spine

Hi,
I have osteoporosis of the spine, hips, shoulders, etc. but I don't have a hump in my back. These muscle spasms are awful and I have a hard time getting rid of them. I try not to twist around but sometimes it happens. Good luck on Friday and let us know what your doctor recommends.

 
Old 08-18-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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Treowth HB User
Re: Compression fractures of the spine

[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Hello,
With my first fracture 3 weeks ago, I found that Flexeril worked magic with
my spasms. In two days, I was mobile again and almost pain free. Now that
there's no pain to guide me, I'm uncertain of my limitations, since my
orthopedic surgeon gave me few basic back care suggestions. Any practical
info about a T7 fracture will be taken to heart. Also, what's the consensus on Forteo? Thanks.

 
Old 08-19-2011, 03:11 PM   #8
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Re: Compression fractures of the spine

Hi, Well, it seems that I have multiple fractures and surgery might not be an option as my bones are soft from the osteoporosis and anything that is put in won't have any decent bone to attach to. I will be seeing the surgeon in the near future. I also found out that the pain I am having now isn't from the fractures but mostly from my back muscles as they are very, very tight as I can't relax like I should but always holding my self stiff to fight any pain that I do have. I have to come up with some type of game plan to learn how to just relax. Do I meditate? Do I try hypnosis? I have never been any good with meditating and the one hypnosis person I went to wasn't able to do a thing with me. I don't want to take opiate types of drugs to get relaxed. I need to be alert and aware of what is going on around me. Any suggestions would be appreciated on how to handle this problem. P.S. The Dr. tried to get me to move around again but my hubby and I said no go.He hurt me enough on my first visit.

 
Old 08-19-2011, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: Compression fractures of the spine

Has kyphoplasty come up in your discussions with your dr?
If the fractures are recent, they can inject cement into the vertebrae which is said to relieve pain substantially. A year on Forteo made my bones suffiently strong to handle the hardware they wanted to put in my spine. Being on Forteo for the year following the surgery enabled my spine to heal completely after the procedure. I take strontium now to maintain the gains made with Forteo and I am no longer fragile or in pain.
I will never get those five inches back, but I am otherwise pleased with the results.
Good luck! Keep us posted.

 
Old 08-22-2011, 08:43 AM   #10
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Re: Compression fractures of the spine

Hi there, After doing some extensive research, I have found that taking the drugs for building bones is not the way to go as these drugs have potentially devastating side effects and they donít result in healthier bones! The new bone growth is hard and brittle. I also checked out the cement procedure and if there is any leakage of the cement, you end up dying from a clot to the lungs or heart. I'm going to opt for rebuilding my bones through natural means and with a couple of programs I checked out. One is the save your bones prodigal and the other is through a alternative Dr. I subscribe to. I am very pleased that the path you have chosen is working out for you and I pray that you will continue to do well. Now, if I can just build up my back muscles and get them to stop giving me grief.

 
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