Osteopenia

Hi, I am 47 male and 3 years ago went to the doctors regarding a pain in my mid back and my ribs, was told by a locum doctor to take paracetamol and I burophen for pain relief he told me it might just be a bit of trapped air as I had had my gal bladder removed a couple of months before.

So I just carried on over the years with the pain but it was getting worse and the last 6 months I discussed with my wife about seeing a chiropractor, my wife and family had noticed a big change in my behaviour very mood no energy to do anything and not enjoying anything, I do have epilepsy controlled and adult ADHD controlled, but because of the change in my mood my wife thought my medication wasn't working but it wasn't my ADHD it was that for 3 years I have been in agony, my wife is a nurse and asked me several times to go to the doctors but I would just tell her I went and he said take paracetamol, I just new that something wasn't right. Then my doctor contacted me for a medication review and while I was there she asked me if I was ok, so I then told her that I still have that pain to which she asked what pain so I explained it to her, the doctor had a look at my back and asked me to show her where the pain was and I did she then told me that she thinks I have intercostal pain and she is going to send me for an X Ray I was delighted something being done about the pain I explained that people in work have noticed a big change in me over the last 6 months as I have lost 5 stone in weight without trying, I put it down to my ADHD medication and that they would see me stretching and a grimace on my face because of the pain. I left the doctors in a good mood came home and told the wife what the doctor thought it was intercostal pain I researched it and thought a chiropractor would help and made an appointment with one who does a full body assessment before he even touches you including X Ray's.

Once I had my X Ray's done At the hospital and chiropractors I went back for my results, my doctor showed me my X Ray but I didn't know what I was looking at so she showed me the report and it was as follows, bones appear quite osteopenia for the patients age and can not account for this, there is preservation of vertrebral body alignment with a marked thoracic kyphosis, there is also minor anterior wedging of T9,T10 and possibly minimal wedging of T8, the context of the bony appearances is likely to be osteoporotic in origin, there is multi degenerative disc disease with prominate anterior osteophyte formation involving the lower thoracic spine, is there any clinical reason why this patient would be osteopenia.

Well I just sat there looking at the doctor and then I said is that why I have been in agony the last few years to which she answered yes definitely, doctor asked if I have ever taken steroids or abused them I said no, I don't smoke or drink alcohol, I am not under weight even though I lost weight I had it to lose, I have always eaten well. Blood tests done testosterone and vitamin D fine and all bloods and urine fine. I explained to the doctor that my father had cancer of the spine approx 28 years ago that I took him to the hospital 7 times in 6 months and that all his bloods were and urine were fine and they just kept sending him home when they finally scanned him it was to late he passed away 2 years later in horrific pain and bed ridden due to the tumours in his spine. The doctor asked if it was myeloma I told her I was young and all I head was the word cancer. I questioned my doctor regarding a blood test I had 3 1/2 years ago and that the GP then said to me that I was in renal failure as my kidneys were just about working and sent me for a scan of my kidneys to see if I had two kidneys to which I had , while I was having the scan it was then that I asked the radiologist if she would look at my gall bladder and she did and told me that it would have to come out again I had found what was giving me chest pain but because of this the doctors phoned me to tell me about my gall bladder and nothing was said about my kidney function, so I had to ask and the locum doctor told me that he had it looked at by the senior GP and she said it was alright now I may of had a bit of an infection and that was that, as I know myeloma can effect the kidneys and was that a flare up off it I don't know. My doctor now is great she has referred me to see a consult and haematologist so fingers crossed I will get a diagnosis myeloma or osteoporosis. The pain I am in is horrific I am now on morphine patches 10mg and still take tramadol 100mg and naproxen I take 40mg ametryptilane at night to get to sleep, very little energy constipation and feeling sick because of tramadol, it's only my fifth day on the patch doctor has said we can up it as I want to stop the tramadol, is osteopenia pain really bad or is it something else, sorry about it being so long I just wanted to try and give you a full account,

Many thanks

5 Replies

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  • It is my thought that osteopenia and even osteoporosis in themselves do not cause pain. Is your pain all over your body and preventing you from doing things - like getting out of a chair easily, or turning around when backing the car? If it is something like that, pain and stiffness (the stiffness because it hurts too much to complete your range of motion) you might have polymyalgia rheumatica. Just a thought. A lot of us who have this disease weren't diagnosed for long periods of time - took me 14 months and a new doctor. I know someone who suffered for 5 years before diagnosis. Anyway it's just a thought. In any case I do hope you get an accurate diagnosis and helpful treatment soon. It's not right that you should have been sent home to take acetaminophen with no instruction to check back within a certain length of time if that wasn't working.

    (I am so sorry you have to endure such pain. If it hasn't responded to the drugs prescribed that is also something that happens with polymyalgia. But of course I may be completely off the mark.)

  • Hi and thank you for your response, none of the doctors have mentioned polymyalgia, looking at the X Ray's of my back from the chiropractor and hospital my back looks pretty bad, the chiropractor said he has never seen a back that bad on a 47 year old and said may be 75 year old, the doctor said my back is like an 80 year old, my wife who is a nurse couldn't believe how bad it was.

    They are going down the lines to rule out multiple myeloma and then they will check for osteoporosis, pain is ok at rest, but any bending or moving is agony if I get a fit of laughter my whole side cramps up if I sneeze I collapse to the floor it's like an electric volt being shot through the base of my back.

  • Oh dear, you poor thing. Well, at least you are being looked at now so hopefully things will start to improve for you soon. Do keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

  • I will do, just have to see what the consultant says on Friday, and take it from there,

    Many thanks

  • my Osteoporosis was diagnosed after I complained of severe bone pain. GP asked me to describe pain and I replied ' it feels like it's right in my bones, it's not muscular'. I had been low in D3 18 months ago which was diagnosed after I complained of pains in my shins. As if I had been jumping up and down on a hard surface. After supplements it went back up above the normal range but not that much, but no advice given really and I wasn't sure whether to keep taking them or not or what.

    Anyway all the pain came back and more and I asked for B12, D3 and DEXA scan. DEXA scan in 2010 was clear but I knew I was not 'right'. I suspect it's been coming on for some time really and because of other health events in my life I feel I should have been diagnosed sooner. It may have saved my teeth from rotting amongst other things.

    Once you know what you've got it's half the battle. You can then deal with it better. I wish you well whatever the outcome and it helps to know there are other people on here who can offer you support.

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