Bone Health

Broken ankle, should I be concerned?

Hi, I have kind of neglected my health, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my lower back in 2009 at the age of 38 and given calcium tablets and Alendronic Acid tablets which I have not taken as I should have done! I guess because it's an invisible disease? Far more immediate in daily life has been living as a deaf person and taking tablets for depression and Epilepsy. Then in 2015 investigation started into symptoms which indicated Clinically Isolated Syndrome, a form of MS. I still have numbness and tingling etc and am waiting to see a neurologist again.

Anyway, on the 20th of Jan I fainted and fell in my house, twice, and eventually got taken to A&E where a hairline fracture in my foot was found. I have been housebound ever since, as I am a market trader in antiques it has not been possible to get out! I guess I am asking should I be concerned that I had a fracture just by falling down indoors? This is the first time I have ever had a fracture. And should I insist on having new DEXA scans as nothing has been done about my osteoporosis for years?

Thanks for reading!

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Hi Sarah,

I am surprised that you were not given a dexa scan after fracturing by falling down indoors. In normal circumstances it would not occur, so I am given to believe. You have already been dx with Osteoporosis so if it was me I would insist on a dexa scan and also a check on your vitamin D levels which you are entitled to if you have OP.

I can understand why you did not take the OP diagnosis seriously when nine years ago. No good going over that though as it is history but now is the time to start looking after yourself regarding diet and supplements and of course weight-bearing exercise when your foot is healed.

You could always give the NOS helpline a call and speak with a nurse. Tel:0808 800 0035 - It is now free from all UK Landlines, Mobiles.

Let us know how you get on and wishing you a speedy recovery. :)

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Thanks for your reply Kaarina, I think I will be acting on your suggestions! I am going to the fracture clinic next Tuesday so hopefully my ankle has healed and I can move forward!

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Hello Sarah. So sorry to hear of your broken ankle, on top of all your other health problems, and I can understand you being worried. If you have a read on this forum, you'll find there are mixed views about taking Alendronic Acid and in theory it should be possible to get all the calcium you need through your diet. Age 38 was very young to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, so I wonder whether any of the medication you're on for other problems has contributed to this? If it's years since you had a DEXA scan, I'd definitely ask for another one, especially if you've already had a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Once again, it sounds like the medical profession haven't followed up on that! Do you know what your T-scores were when you had your previous DEXA scan?

I'm not medically qualified, so anything I write here is purely what I've gleaned from reading, mostly on the internet. The one thing I would suggest you do immediately, if you're not already doing so and there's no medical reason or potential clash with drugs you're taking, is to take a good quality Vitamin D3 supplement. If you have osteoporosis and live in the UK you should be able to get this on prescription. I'd also ask for a Vit D and calcium blood test. Apart from being needed to help absorb calcium into the bones, there's also some evidence that Vit D can help prevent MS (eg mstrust.org.uk/research/res...

Other supplements worth considering are Vit K2 and magnesium (I can't tolerate the latter, so sometimes take an Epsom Salts bath instead). Then it's definitely worth looking at your diet and making sure it's well balanced. I've learnt that nuts contain many of the daily nutrients we need for our bones! If you read other posts, you'll find all sorts of other suggestions. And finally weight-bearing exercise also contributes to bone health - the recommendation is to aim for a 30 minute brisk walk 5 times a week (or the equivalent) if you're able - but obviously you can't do that with a broken ankle!

I would definitely talk to your GP about all of this, plus the National Osteoporosis Society helpline nurses are also very helpful (FREE PHONE 0808 800 0035 EMAIL nurses@nos.org.uk), and the NOS has lots of helpful literature (https://nos.org.uk/publications/). Good luck and do let us know how you get on.

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Thanks so much for your reply Met00, a few things to follow up on and do! I will be seeing the fracture clinic next Tuesday and then hopefully I can start to move about. I have a dog and I have so missed being able to walk her, a 30 minute brisk walk 5 times a week is easy with a German Shepherd/Husky!

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I too broke my foot over a year ago in three places from a fall indoors I only got up from chair and fell on the floor, had a bone density scan 9 months later and was told by GP in have osteoporosis and osteopenia taking alendronic acid for 13 months got no side effects won’t be able to have another scan for 4 years my GP don’t seem to care or know enough about osteoporosis. Hope you have a better GP.

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Sorry for your experience. My GP is pretty useless in a doctor's surgery that is not rated, and the hospital here (Harlow) is even worst! I think the NOS do a great job thankfully!

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"numbness and tingling etc ... depression"

Hi 60sSarah Just a thought have you ever been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency.

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I hear what you are saying, but I had a lumber puncture and several MRI scans of my brain so the evidence is there for CIS/MS.

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You need to take vitamin K2 to balance out the D3 as well as helping the calcium to go to your bones as opposed to your arteries. Boron is also important. 6 dried prunes daily as part of a well balanced alkaline/acid diet has been scientifically proven to build bone providing boron. More on that on Dr Susan Brown's blog on her website Better Bones. I'm after reading "Your Bones" by Lara Pizzorno which I found helpful. £4 odd to download to a kindle from Amazon. This is really about diet, supplements, exercise and debating the use of drug treatments. You need to do lots of reading and decide for yourself the route you will take keeping in mind that you have other health concerns which may impact your balance which is so important to avoid falls. No one can decide this for you. It may be an idea to call the National Osteoporosis Society (nos.org.uk) helpline a free call 08088000035, and request to speak to an osteoporosis nurse for advice. I also have osteoporosis discovered when I broke my ankle in 3 places ten years ago falling on black ice. This is not classed as a fragility fall where bones break for no reason. Likewise anyone could have a hairline fracture falling in the same circumstances as you did. I have had the same when the bottom fell out of a cast iron pot on my foot. It is not a serious fracture and heals easily. Don't panic but start taking care of yourself. Good luck.

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Thanks for your advice Jessie1234 , I will be doing some reading, and calling my GP! I have emailed the NOS and they have been very helpful too.

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