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Osteopenia at 36

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Old 10-22-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Oceanside, CA
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OceansideMatt HB User
Osteopenia at 36

Hi All,

I've been reading some posts and am almost embarrassed as my concerns pale in comparison but I thought I'd reach out to the forum anyways.

I recently broke my R tib/fib compound-style in a accident where a friend (we presume) fell on my leg in my garage which landed me an IM tib rod and six screws. This was my third major trauma incident to my lower extremeties, the first being an ankle that I completely destroyed (ORIF - six screws, since removed) by spinning my foot 180 degrees hitting a dirt pothole off the end of a basketball court at 19 and the second being a closed tib/fib fracture to my L leg via drunken wrestling at about 26. Talking history the doc decided that I should have a scan and the results came back less than steller.

I'm 36, 5'11", 190, and pretty active. I've always know that despite having broad shoulders that I have a small frame. Examples being I have small wrists, "chicken legs" at the ankles but with big calves, and don't really carry 190 very well. I'm active though and run 2x week, hike 40+ miles a month, backpack with a 30-40 lb pack 15+ days a summer along with riding a bike all the time, surfing and swimming, and wrestling with kids.

My scan came back with a T-Score of at -1.1 at the hip and a lower -0.7 in the back, only putting me into osteropenia because of the hip. I'm completely freaked out though. I regularly wander off-trail passes ALONE high in the Southern Sierras where you're climbing 40 degree loose slopes covered in basketball sized rocks that roll, tumble, etc. and only 5-10 people go through a year. I went through a spot last year where (even with my friend there) had this happend there it would have been 24 hours before he could even get to a place where they could radio for help. Between the time to help and a big open wound I could have easily lost my leg had it happend up there. Now I'm being told that I'm fragile, I'm mortified for this to be happening so soon. Here's my questions to the forum.

1. Where can I find a good density table by age for a WM? I've just now taken my first test so it's hard to determine wheter I've always been this way, I'm losing quickly, or both. I'd love to have something comparative/linear even just to see scores at 36 vs. scores at 30 since I won't have another test for a year or two.

2. Doubtful that I'll get any real meds, what can I do to get some of it back? I've already begun Calcium and Vitamin D as I know that I was certainly deficient in Ca and I'll probably go back to doing more weight bearing exercise (like squats, leg lifts) in the near future but what else? Can I even get any of it back? I'm going to make a change to alcohol consumption as well as I'm close to that magic "3 drink" mark but as I read it alcohol consumption seems to have more impact on the porous bone, the higher of my two scores. Is that true?

3. Debatable, I know, but where does "risk" really begin in in terms of t-score number? Alone and self sufficient is as much the curse as it is the blessing of my hobbies. I don't want to carry a $500 PLB or a SPOT 40 miles into the wilderness. I spend a $1000 a year taking weight out of my pack. Plus that only saves me if I get hurt. When prevention isn't a option what do you do? I'm feeling a little Lee Majors-ish these days with the Titanium rod and screws on one side and a repaired ankle and long since fused tib/fib on the other side but am I really any more durable (like I think I am) after all the breaks?

Thanks all.

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Old 10-23-2012, 04:12 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: Osteopenia at 36

IF you have osteopenia, and I personally don't believe there is any such thing, you're barely over the mark (-1.0) for it. So, more calcium, Vitamin D (though I suspect you are getting plenty from sunshine), some weight bearing work are good things to do. You might also get your hormones checked as low estrogen can have an impact on bone density as well. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm a 5'2" female age 66 and I am certain my bones have always been less dense than normal and my scores are somewhat worse than yours.

Old 12-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: sherman oaks, ca USA
Posts: 1
jewels66 HB User
Re: Osteopenia at 36

Hi...I have just found out i have Osteopenia T-score -1.30. I fractured my tib/fib playing ice hockey 7 months ago along withhave thyroid cancer, surgery and radiation in Oct. this all related? I was an extremely active 45 year old I have all these friggin issues.

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