Osteoporosis in spine: Hello, first time posting... - Bone Health

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Osteoporosis in spine

Melrobbo profile image
Melrobbo

Hello, first time posting so will try and keep it short.

I had a fall 9 weeks ago and ended up with multiple fractures in my hip, pelvis and lower back. Just been for a bone density scan and I have osteoporosis in my spine. Got to get in touch with my gp in 2/3 weeks.

The lady who did the scan said that I’ll be put on some sort of medication. Had bloods checked for vitamin d levels and they came back normal.

I am on warfarin for life after they found unprovoked bloods clots in my lungs 20 months ago.

I am wondering what will be the long term effect it will have on me as I’m a parcel courier love my job but with the job I do,I get in and out of the car constantly, also what medication with they give me that is ok to take with warfarin.

Many thanks

17 Replies

So sorry to hear you had so many fractures, and I do hope they're starting to mend. Have you only had your blood Vitamin D level checked? They should also have checked for any underlying causes for your osteoporosis, including checking your calcium, parathyroid and thyroid levels, together with checking for any absorbency issues (eg coeliac disease). I would definitely ask your GP to run these tests before prescribing any medication. I would also ask for all your results when the tests have been done, including the Vitamin D . I was told my Vitamin D blood level was normal, when it was actually below normal at 47nmol/litre. I was subsequently told by a consultant to take enough supplement to raise it to at least 75nmol/litre, preferably 100. The most usual prescription is Alendronic Acid, but I have no idea whether that can be taken with warfarin. The specialist nurses at the ROS might be able to answer that one (theros.org.uk), or alternatively your local pharmacist.

Melrobbo profile image
Melrobbo in reply to Met00

Hello met00, thank you for your reply. So far just had my vitamin D levels checked. Hopefully when I get in touch with my GP she will check me for any underlying issues. To be honest it has knocked me for six as I’m only 51 (never thought getting old would catch on lol)

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to Melrobbo

It's a terrible shock getting the diagnosis, isn't it? I was a few years older than you at 58, but was still stunned by it, as I thought you had to be at least in your 80s to have osteoporosis! I think the younger you are, the more likely it is that there are underlying causes, which may be treatable, particularly as you had so many fractures from one fall. The positive (if there is one) from being diagnosed at a younger age is that it gives you plenty of time to change to a healthier lifestyle (assuming that's possible, it certainly was for me!), which is good for all round health, not just the bones. I now eat healthily, get a lot more exercise, and take a range of supplements that are meant to be good for the bones!

Melrobbo profile image
Melrobbo in reply to Met00

It started when I was 39, went for a density scan 12 years ago as I had been on the contraceptive injection for 16 years, never took any notice off it then (wish I had now). Thankfully I am normally very active on a daily basis, just been for the last 9 weeks that I haven’t been able to do anything while my bones heal, it has driven me mad. It’s nice to be able to talk about it to other people who understand how are feeling.

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 11yrs ago, when I was 65. I managed with focus on a healthy bone building, diet, weight bearing exercise and supplements. I suffered a fracture of the sternum and two thoracic vertebrae 3 yrs ago and was then prescribed Raloxifene. I have been fine in this medication with a slight improvement in my DEXA scores. However, I also have a heart condition and 12 months ago started with episodes of atrial fibrillation. I was therefore prescribed the anticoagulant Apixiban. I have had no side effects from this medication but I am worried because when reading about Apixiban I noted that anticoagulants can contribute to thinning of the bones. I am not due my next DEXA scan until 2022 but I will be anxious because I am expecting a deterioration. It feels like a catch 22 because, like you, I am on anticoagulants for life. Has anyone else read about the bone thinning effects of anticoagulants?

Do your research!!!! Check out Alendronic Acid on here as that is likely to be what the GP will prescribe. Check out "Save Our Bones" "Better Bones" COMB study and back extension exercises and think carefully before you take the medication. Good luck!

I have read myself too that anticoagulant drugs thin your bones which like you said is a worry. My biggest worry at the moment is, will doing my job weaken or strengthen my spine as I can get in and out of my car anything from 70-100 times a day six days a week. Still a lot more to read.

Hi Melrobbo - I am 56 and also have osteoporosis in my spine. I also work - full time - and need to get in and out my car regularly. I found 4sessions with a physio helpful - she guided me on which exercises to do and which movements to avoid. Also - check out the Riyal Osteoporosis Society - they basically say that we shouldn’t be too cautious- it’s more of a “how to do” than a “don’t do” attitude when it comes to movement and exercise. Hope that helps!

Melrobbo profile image
Melrobbo in reply to Scandi123

That’s great to know, will be up and running again very soon. Thank you all for your great and appreciated help.

Hi...just read all your replies to your query and agree..I had 15 spinal wedge fractures in 2015/16....with Osteoporosis..also got osteoarthritis in hands, knees and feet...I looked at all my medication I was on prior and warfarin was one for atrial fibrillation..I was on that for seven years and fought to come off ..I was also an asthmatic had been since a child so steroids in some shape or form for all my life..both of these had caused me to have this horrible condition..I used to be a weight lifter Sid my last complaint at 63...danced had a proper diet etc..so I fought the doctors over the warfarin as there are other drugs that don’t cause problems...I take a concoction of vitamins every day, put my findings to my consultant and they agree with me..warfarin while good for what it does causes other worse problems...research all you are taking and you will be surprised.. best of luck. Xxxxx

Definitely get hyperparathyroidism ruled out as that caused my osteoporosis. My surgeon says my bones will improve considerably following parathyroidectomy surgery. Also research Alendronic Acid and other bisphosphanates before taking them. Most are cheap to produce and not necessarily good. Look up research by Dr Steven Yeh at UCLA he reckons taking nothing is better than taking bisphosphanates but come to your own conclusion. Many prefer weight bearing excercises and supplements but get a blood test to check for hyperPARAthyroidism first

I really can relate to your problems, osteoporosis is a shock even though you may know certain drugs weaken the bones, you feel you are in a catch 22 place if you don't take them.

I have warfarin for antiphosphilipid syndrome, due to dvt and a pulmonary embolism and long term steroids for lupus. I recently found out ppi's like lanzoprazole are also guilty of preventing calcium reaching the bones. It doesn't help that the Adcal calcium tablets increase the reflux which the ppi's are supposed to stop.

It is very difficult, I was 66 last year when I was diagnosed from my spinal fractures, I thought I had a good few years before me before I hit that but not to be.

My own feeling is that doing the job you have could lead to more fractures, is there any likelihood of doing something less strenous?

As others have said do your research with what you will be offered, the general concensus here seems to avoid Prolia, (denosumab) because the likelihood of rebound fractures, but to be honest it seems all the treatments have side effects, some worse than others.

Some people are trying to control it by increasing calcium in the diet, walking and exercising, it may work for them and is an option.

I can recommend ringing the ROS, the lady at the end of the phone for me was encouraging but did not suggest one option over another. It was good though to explain my fears and I felt that she understood and could give general advice. In the end though it is all down to you and your research, which is very daunting.

Be very careful in your movements, your bones sound quite fragile. Take care and good luck.

The ros nurse advised me to take alendronic acid as the benefits outweigh the risk but i decided not to. My parathyroid surgeon said it was a good job i made that decision as my bones are going to recover and the AA could have caused problems at tgis stage. As i say to everyone about to start on bisphosphanates do your research and do what is in YOUR own best interests

I agree with the other's comments, especially re being checked for parathyroidism. Given your occupation I think your diagnosis is even more of a shock because one would think that would have helped keep your bones healthy. Good luck, and do keep in touch.

Morning, think that I’m still in shock as I’m only 51 and like many have said you think of osteoporosis as a elderly problem. The job I do I love doing it as I was in retail for 18 years before. Hopefully my GP will be spot on and send me for all the tests that you have all said. Thank you all.

Hi Melrobbo. Sorry to hear your news about your fall and fractures. I had a fall, indoors from standing height, over 5 months ago and broke my humerus just below the ball joint. It is only just starting to heal. I am 64 and quite small in frame. Results revealed I have an average T score of -2.4 and I’ve been prescribed AA and Accrete 3. I am also intolerant to gluten and has asked for a referral to a dietitian, which is later this month. To begin with, the AA seemed to upset my tummy but I’ve carried on with it and that seems to have settled down. I’ve done a bit of reading-up and it is a bit mind-boggling. I don’t know much but I do know I want to give myself the best chance of a healthy future for as long as I can. The last 4 or so weeks have not been so bad but for many weeks at first, I was in terrible pain as the bones kept moving out of alignment. Being alone and isolated was hard but you come through the other end and life looks good again. Good luck and big hugs to you and all others who are struggling right now 💕

Hello, big hugs to you. It has been hard the last 9 weeks with the struggle of not been able to do things for myself. Thankfully I have not been alone so I am thankful for that. I am now feeling a lot better with my fractures heeled or so I’m guessing they are as I’m mobile now, still taking it slowly though. Just seems that the last 2 years have been hard with my health as I have always run about looking after others, thought I was invincible, I wrong of me to think that. After everyone’s help and information on here that I have received I am looking forward and not going to worry so much.

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