Refractures: What are the chances of vertebrae... - Bone Health

Bone Health

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fraid profile image

What are the chances of vertebrae refracturing if not treated except with Adcal?Anyone know?I cant lie flat on table for bone scan or cope with travel & refuse Prolia re side effects.


9 Replies

Adcal alone won't prevent osteoporosis, but that's not to say you need to take medication, the decision is yours. If you don't want any meds, you need to put a lot of work into maintaining bone health - a healthy diet, lots of weight-bearing exercise with as much impact as is safe for you, and a range of supplements. As you've had fractures, you should get professional advice about what exercise is safe. If you want to explore the medication route further, there are alternatives to Prolia, which shouldn't be the first one prescribed anyway. Just be aware that none of the meds guarantee you won't fracture again, they simply reduce the risk. For example, with the bisphosphonates, if you have a 10% risk of fracturing your hip, a bisphosphonate will reduce that to a 5% risk.

which vertebrae?

could you lie flat (enough) with props/pillows? that might suffice

you may wish to strengthen / protect your vertebrae by: diligently avoiding bending forward (that triples the stress on the forward edge of your vertebrae, the typical starting point of a vertebrae fracture)--your mantra should become "bend with the knees, not the back", and, practice back extension exercises (such as shown in Sinaki's peer reviewed studies)

~wbic, member bonehealth forum

fraid profile image
fraid in reply to wbiC

Thanks guys,have at least 6 # vertebrae,lumbar1-5,T13, but sure have higher up too,didn’t go back for more xrays due to travel making me so much worse,have M.E too.Nurse & GP agreed if I cant lie flat no point going for bone scan.Have lost 3 stone now,so hard to eat enough to put back on,no appetite or nausea.Physio no help wouldn't touch me or give ex.coz of fractures,insists have scan,wouldn’t listen.

wbiC profile image
wbiC in reply to fraid

I was puzzled at the "re-fracture" term -- once the vertebrae's crushed, it'll not uncrush so it can be re-fractured, though often the front portion crushes and the rear portion can't manage by itself so follows at a later point. (a consequence of weak bones + bending forward or doing a hard sideways twist imo)

~wbic, member bonehealth forum

Hi. We are all different and most of us are not medical professionals. When I had my 2 compression fractures I was unable to sit or lie flat without pain. Physio told me to stay inactive for one week. Worse thing I could have muscles shortened and stiffened making almost any movement very difficult and painful. Had my furniture made higher, saw an osteopath 3 times, who helped me tremendously. She gently moved me where I could not myself...until I could.

Only recently, at least 4 years on, I am able to sit on a normal height chair. Before lockdown I was dancing modern jive and rock n roll again.....felt like I'd got my life back. It is weird, people could not believe how I could dance like I did, when to see me get up from a chair you'd think I'd need two sticks to walk. Now, the more I walk, the better I am. I've never taken medication for my severe osteoporosis, despite a lot of hospital pressure. I did have adcal until I started getting little lumps under my skin which I was told were calcium deposits, so now I don't even take that.

What I did instead was spent a lot of time researching....reading, internet, you tube, worldwide forums like this site. I stopped the harmful habits and adopted as many healthy habits as possible. Fractures since? One crash on the dancefloor resulted in a fractured wrist. What the research did was reassure me that my bones are fragile and not as dense as when I was young. This happens as we age. As soon as I realised that osteoporosis is not a disease, I was able to let go of the awful anxiety and constant fear that the diagnosis created.

I can't really comment on your case, however, I wanted you to know that it is possible for the body to heal itself as much as we support it to. Will we ever get bones as good as when we were 30? (which is what the Dexa scan compares us to) Of course not. No medication will reverse the process either. Some of the information I've read says that biphosphonates make our bones more brittle and therefore more likely to fracture. We make our own decisions. I sincerely hope that you and your mobility improves as much as I have. xx

That's interesting DeannaAlphi. I have been put on alendronic acid for the last five months. I don't have osteoporosis (just had DEXA) but have had four compression fractures. I have to say I am in a lot less pain now, though still take paracetamol night and morning. It is worrying that you say being on bisphosphonates makes our bones more brittle. I can only hope that the five years I have to be on this drug will make my bones stronger without making them brittle. I am 76 and my bone density is average for my age. I'm not seeing a rheumatologist for any of my structural problems - just a haematologist for bloods.

I have a friend who took Alendronic Acid for fifteen years without any problems or issues. We are all different. I watched my mother suffer with awful side effects from it. We lack enzymes which break down chemicals, which is not common and makes us extra sensitive to medications. I hope you do well with it, many people do. xx

fraid profile image
fraid in reply to DeannaAlphi

Thanks for that,yes the fear is of refracturing which,depending on which countries report you read varies hugely.So glad you are back to an active life but I also have Kyphosis so am bent over & cannot straighten.Shall keep walking round house & try to increase that plus gentle leg stop odema.Afraid my dancing days are def.over! 😬

DeannaAlphi profile image
DeannaAlphi in reply to fraid

Bless you. Covid has killed dancing for many of us now. I've not had vaccinations so sadly can't see myself returning to it. We live in strange times. Positive thoughts coming your way that you have a fracture free future. Wish you the best. Deanna xx