This is my first post in this forum. I have osteoporsis and in the beginning of February I woke up with severe back pain and shooting, throbbing pain in my left leg. My family doctor sent me to a back specialist and after MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays, it was determined that I have a compression fracture of the lumbar spine (L5). Since the initial diagnosis, I have been given a brace, and have had 2 epidural cortisone injections. The second injection just kicked in and I'm experiencing some relief. For the past two months, I have been heavily dependent on neighbors and relatives to do my food shopping, walk my little dog, take out the trash and have been homebound. Its very disheartening. Yesterday was the first day since early February that I was able to drive and went to the family doctor. She said its not unheard of for this healing process to take up to 6 months.
I am so afraid that if I feel ok today, that I should go out and do a few things that I want to do - go to the store and get exactly what I want. People have been getting me stuff, but not always what I have asked for. My fear is that if I don't do it today, tomorrow I may be back to square one with debilitating pain and unable to do it then.
I haven't read all the posts on this forum, since it is difficult to sit at the computer for any period of time. But, I will check in.
Hi Philly - your story struck a nerve with me both literally and figuratively! I too am a sufferer of severe osteoporosis. My osteo is due to the fact that I have gone without estrogen since I was 23 years old (I'm now 53). At that time I had to have a complete hysterectomy including removal of my ovaries. But the doctors never put me on estrogen replacement. So at the age of about 45 I began breaking bones. My first break was in my L-spine and I went to a great surgeon in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins. He went in and fused my vertabrae and I was fine afterwards. But I hadn't been home more than 2 months when I broke the next vertabrae above the fusion. This pattern went on and on like a bad dominos game. When one was broken, the next would break and the next and the next. I have had a total of 13 spinal surgeries to fix broken vertabrae and to repair hardware that has moved or broken. I then broke my hip spontaneously....as you have discovered, you don't have to do much for a bone to break. You can just turn over or cough too hard or sit down to quick. The hip break was pretty devastating to me. After I got home from that surgery my femur broke and all the artificial hip replacement fell into my upper thigh. More surgery, then a terrible MRSA infection! My last surgery was 3/2008 and I think I have another coming up. I've been in a great deal of pain for many weeks and so I had a CT Mylogram done last week. It looks like there is more damage. Anyway.......I shouldn't be yaking away about my story.....Can you tell me what is causing your osteoporosis? Are you taking medications to improve the strength of your bones? I know just how you feel about wanting to start doing things on your own yet fearing that something simple you might do (like going to the grocery for just a few small things) could cause another compression fracture or ruin your fusion. It can be such a real fear and can lead to feeling alone and isolated. I think you should do what you can as long as you aren't defying your doc. If he/she says you can pick up 5 lbs, then go ahead. Just listen to your body. Your body is a better judge of what you should and shouldn't be doing than any MRI or xray. I would love to hear more about what your plans are for the future as far as getting well and getting stronger. All the best - Kath
Hi! I also have compression fractures of T6,T7,and T8 and I am 25. although I do not have osteoporosis I just woke up in agonizing pain one day when I was 18 and MRI showed the fractures....no doctor I have seen has been able to explain why I would fracture when I don't have osteoporosis.
But I just wanted to say, there is something they can do where they inject the fractured vertebrae with a type of cement and many people have had relief when this has been done. However, it can only be done within the first 6 months. 7 years later I still have terrible constant pain so don't wait to check into it!!
Its been awhile since I posted (almost 3 months). When I read Brittlebone's post this morning, my heart leaped. To answer some of your questions about osteoporosis. Here's my drug history reagarding it. As soon as I hit menopause (about age 52), I was taking hrt, but since my family has a history of heart disease (both my parents died from myocardial infarctions), it was decided to take me off of it. I then went on Actonal and was on it for several years. When I started breaking bones I was introduced to forteo (daily injectable). I experienced upper adominal cramping (near my heart) after about 7 months on forteo - and I stopped taking it. Then I went on Fosamax and my jaw started cracking. So I stopped taking any drug for osteoporosis for about 3 months. Then I got the spinal fracture (it was later discovered that it was more than just a vetebrae fracture). The latest x-ray and MRI showed that it was crushed so the "glue" procedure would not have helped. I am now on Evista and have not experienced side effects (that I am aware of). I don't know what it is doing to my body. But, I'm at the point where I would sell my soul to satan in exchange for no more broken bones. I am now able to go food shopping (using the electric carts in the stores). But, I require help to unload my car. I can take my dog for a short walk (about 30 yards) before having to sit for about 5 minutes and walk again. I've had 3 epidural injections. I still experience some pain in my left leg, but my toes are no longer numb on the left foot. Also, the back pain isn't as severe but it is still there.
Thats my pharmaceutical history. The bones that have broken since my diagnosis aren't as numerous as Brittlebones - ribs and spine.
So that is where I am today. My plans for the future - I was told to consider physical therapy for my back. I am still thinking about it. I take 2000 u of Vitamin D daily and, of course, a calcium supplement. I am 12 years older than Brittlebones, so my goal is remain extremely careful, not pick up more than 5 pounds and see how the Evista works for me.
Its been a few months since Brittle posted, so please let me know how you are doing and what drugs you have been taking for the osteoporsis.