Vertebral fractures: Hi there . I have... - Bone Health

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Vertebral fractures

Looby60 profile image

Hi there .

I have 4 vertebral fractures . Thoracic one has 80 percent bone loss and I think it L5 has 60 bone loss . Dexa scan showed -3.8. I have also lost 3 inches in height .

I’m struggling where I am so short and have put on weight as my stomach is bloated a lot ( or feels like it is) . I look heavily pregnant most of the time lol.

Can I ask is this normal ? It gets very uncomfortable.

Thank you .

63 Replies

Hi, I am 60 and fell on ice in jan 2021 and took till august 2021 to get diagnosis after paying for private scan. And have same issues as you and general soreness around ribs and lumbar and a now round shoulders, but cannot get doctors to show any interest. I havent seen any doctor face to face since I paid for consultation and scan. It just feels like you are the only one and just take the painkillers and go away.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to uptheyard

So sorry to hear this . At least you now know you aren’t the only one .

It’s been very difficult hasn’t it with covid .

I have had same issues at times .

I hope you have decent pain relief . Did your dexa scan results go to your go? Did they say osteoporosis?

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to uptheyard

Hi! I was taking paracetamol and one evening I felt so sick that I wouldn’t take any more. I’ve always said they make me feel sick but I’d taken a second lot and felt really sick. I don’t want to take anything that will stop me driving so I hesitate to get anything from the Dr.

Hi Looby 60,Where have you got the figures from for the 80% and 60%.

I think maybe you have misinterpreted your numbers.

It makes more sense that you have lost 20% and 40%.

I have seven spinal fractures in the Lumbar and Thoracic.

When we fracture and as a result lose height, amongst other changes that take place is the problem of everything moving downwards.

This causing our stomachs to look so much bigger, bloated , and swollen ( even if the rest of our bodies are skinny or we are underweight.

Our clothes become very uncomfortable and can also be very ill fitting.

For some people (myself included) wearing a normal bra can become impossible, trousers come right the way under the bust, and any tops with an average round neck can stand away from the back of the neck without laying flat.

Yes I am sorry to say that for some of us, what you describe is now the norm.

You will I am sure receive many helpful replies to your post.

Take care and stay safe.

Hi there . I had MRI scan in March initially and it showed 3 vertebral fractures one of which had 60 percent and further one had 40 . Second MRI in July said further bone loss of 20 percent on those 2 plus another fracture .

Like you I find bras difficult and also waistlines up to the chest . So uncomfortable isn’t it .

Ah well roly poly look it is for me lol .

7 fractures ? You poor thing .must be awful .

Can I ask do you struggle to walk ? I cannot walk far and need to use 2 sticks or a walking frame .

Thank you for your reply 😊

Hi again,

I walk around the home using 2 sticks, and anything further I need to rely on my Power chair.

The fracture I had in T9 changed my life completely for the worse. It was after that fracture that I was no longer able to move around.

The fracture in T8 resulted in my not been able to feed myself and it severely effected my breathing.

I am now hoping to stay free of any more fractures in the future.

Hi Looby 60. You sound very much like me. How do you know how much bone loss is in each vertebrae.? My spine has gone from -5.5 to -4.3. I’ve had seven fractures in all the worst one being my T12. Which I was in hospital for three years ago. I was in for a couple of days this year because of my breathing which was bad because 4 more fractures occurred. I was told the thoracic ones are the most painful. I lost three inches in height after the first three fractures. I don’t know how much more I’ve lost with the last four. People keep asking if I’ve put on weight because like you my tummy looks like I’m pregnant. I thought about going on a diet but am afraid to because I don’t want to deprive my bones of any vitamins. And maybe my tummy will help hold the bones in place. I do t know! I’m not sure! I do know if I do much it’s so painful.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Really feel for you . I agree T12 is the worst . The simplest thing can set off more pain .

I know because of MRI scan results , I was given copies of both the one I had in March then the next one in July .

I have just started on Forsteo so fingers crossed it helps other bones eventually.

I’m aware there is no quick cure sadly .

I have put on weight too which I guess makes it worse .

Thank you for your reply 😊

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

It’s difficult isn’t it. I think my last bones went when I lost weight. Hence my hesitation to lose more. Like you I’ve put on weight. I think I’ve put on about eleven pounds. The thing is we are getting no information anymore because the hospitals are all tied up with covid. I get a phone call once a year and a dexa scan every two years. There is nobody you can really talk to about it. Even the Drs haven’t got the time for us. It’s like we are all alone. That’s why we turn for help on here.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Hi again . Well that’s me convinced . I need my extra padding to protect my bones lol.

I am on gabapentin and paracetamol. They say gabapentin makes you sleepy but I haven’t found it does .

I am also on prednisolone for Polymyalgia.

Do you have an osteoporosis nurse at all ? She is the one who put me on Forsteo which is supposed to build bone . As far as I know it won’t help the ones already fractured though .

As I cannot work I’m almost always around if you need to vent .

Stay positive and safe 😊

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

I’ve got osteoporosis badly. It’s annoying because I’ve always been the one in my family that’s done a lot and now I’m struggling. I won’t give up though. I’m still trying to do things. I’ve not got an osteoporosis nurse. I’m under a Consultant at the hospital but they only want to know once a year. My Dr has referred me to the local council as they have a place they can assess me and assess my needs. I haven’t took them up on it yet as it’s a few miles away and I’m not sure how to get there besides I don’t know if my back will let me drive that far. Prednisolone is a steroid and that’s what finished my bones. They must have been bad but I’d only had a small break in my hand which I fell on so didn’t know I had weak bones. Then I had pneumonia and after Aspergillosis which is a fungal allergy in the lungs. I was given steroid for it and hence all the broken bones after. I would think you would be covered by the Forsteo. Do you have to inject yourself every day?

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Hi Yes every day but it can take a lot of months to protect the bones. Varying results for people . Plus as with all meds some horror stories too when I researched it .

We will just have to see .

You really have been through the mill haven’t you .

It’s suprising what we can put up with and learn to adjust to isn’t it . This time last year I was working full time .

Then bang . I didn’t fall it just happened and I collapsed with spasms and couldn’t get up .

Hey ho .

Onwards we go lol

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

Me too. I had no warnings they all just happened. I did read the horror stories but so far have only found the AA a horror as it made me so sick.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Your GP should be there to support you . I have to admit as soon as mine saw my first MRI scan he has supported me and got some help for me as in spinal team and dexa scan .

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

I don’t like bothering mine as they are so busy.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Sorry but you are just as important and long term pain can become depressing . They are there to help us , busy or not .

👍

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

Thank you. I gave up on paracetamol as it made me feel so sick. So now I’m on nothing. I will ring the Drs and try and get something.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Good let me know how you get on please and good luck .

ROSAdmin2 profile image
ROSAdmin2Partner in reply to Mavary

Hi Mavary, you could and talk things over with a Royal Osteoporosis nurse on their free helpline 0808 800 0035

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to ROSAdmin2

Thank you! That was one of the first things I did after my last fractures. I’ve found them very helpful. More so than any of the Drs or Consultants that give you no information whatsoever. They just send you home from hospital to deal with it in your own way which is probably the wrong way. Actually they are based not far from where I am.

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

I think you can only be on Forster for two years then you switch to another similar to Alendronic acid or the one I have which is Denosumab. It was five months into being on this that my last fractures went. They said it takes between one and two years to work. I am now nine months into it. I reckon by two years I will be like a worm wriggling on the floor with no bones. 😁😂

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Just had second really bad reaction to Forsteo so that’s me done with it . Heart rate shot up and chest pains . Unfortunately I suffer from anxiety and sadly cannot deal with that on top of everything else .. ah well back to the drawing board I guess lol

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

Oh no! What a shame. It protected me from breaks for two years. I’m so sorry to hear that. It just goes to show we are all different. It was AA for me. It really made me ill.

Hi, I have 5 spinal fractures and have lost 5 inches in height. I feel like one of the cartoon characters that has had a heavyweight dropped on their head and their bodies now look like a concertina. Clothes nolonger fit because of the rolls of extra skin and my ribs sit inside my pelvis so I can't bend to the side.I can't reach things on higher shelfs. The pain in my mid and lower back was constant and I spent weeks at a time sleeping in a recliner chair as I could not lydown in bed. pain meds were limited due to damage caused to my stomach by alindronic acid. Struggled to keep active but determined to keep walking in the fresh air every day. After 3 years of constant pain I had FACET JOINT MEDIAL BRANCH BLOCKS in 3 different areas and my goodness it gave me a new lease of life. I still look squished but I can move without pain so have been able to increase my general fitness level. I can sleep in my bed, stand without pain. It is now 6 months and I only have the occasional twinge if I do to much. Not only has my physical fitness improved so has my mental fitness,

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to elmaaa

Oh my goodness . We all have two things in common that’s for sure .

Constant pain and fractured vertebrae.

So glad you finally had something that worked for you .

I was provided with a hospital bed my occupational therapy which had been a godsend .

I can’t lay flat so this supports me which is great . I had never heard of the facet joint thing .

Silly but first thing that struck me was having to lay on your stomach .

No way could I do that I can’t even lay on my side 😳

Thank you for your reply

Think my nickname should weeble lol from my rotund shape

elmaaa profile image
elmaaa in reply to Looby60

Branch blocks injections and I was told if they kept the pain away for a minimum of 6 months then they could be redone. So I have the peace of mind that when the pain returns it can be treated again. The pain of lying on my stomach for 10 minutes for the injections was so worth it.

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to elmaaa

Oh you poor thing. That sounds awful. I don’t know as I would ever be able to have anything done because of my age and my lung problems. I think mine is quite bad but it’s quite mild compared to you. I’m not sure how much height I’ve lost. It was three inches after the first three breaks but nobody has measured me after the last four breaks. It’s a horrible thing to live with. I slept in a recliner the night my T12 went. I couldn’t even walk to the loo. I went into hospital for twelve days with that one. I was flat on my back most of the time. They had to bring me a bed pan which was embarrassing because it was usually a male nurse on. I remember them bringing me food and the nurse trying to raise the bed head and I told her No! She couldn’t do it as it hurt so much. Eventually towards the end of the twelve days I was sitting in a reclined position and I could just hobble to the bathroom. They tried to walk me to a chair and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bear my weight at all for about nine or ten days.

J I had one Alendronic acid and was so sick they didn’t give me any more. I’ve got a very sensitive stomach anyway. I think AA is the cheapest and first port of call but it doesn’t suit everybody. I’m now on Denosumab injections every six months. My fist two years was on Terraparatide.

I’m so glad you could get help. It’s miserable to not be able to do much. I hate having a cleaner in and getting my ironing done. I’ve always done my own and nobody does it like we do. Do they?

elmaaa profile image
elmaaa in reply to Mavary

I'm on Terraparatide now after a year on Denosumab. Your age would not stop you from getting medial branch block injections and I would recommend them to everyone.

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to elmaaa

You’ve given me hope. I could hug you!

Hi, it has been so useful reading the threads to your original post Looby60 because, many answers have been answered for me! My VFA imaging showed multiple thoracic and lumbar vertebral fractures including from T10 through to L3. I was originally 5.4" then I went down to 4.6" (I had a major operation) but with determination, and walking every day, I have managed to gain height to 5.0" but no more.

My back still has a small curve. I've progressed to walking with a 3 wheeler walker when walking to the shops and exercise around the park but can walk around the house unaided now. I am able to do small chores now but cannot bend down to the lower cupboards in the kitchen. My back aches after a while which is when I have to sit down - preferably lying on the sofa!

All this was brought on by the drugs/steroids, age and risk of osteoporosis 2 years ago as none of this was present in my scan in 2019. I have to accept it and it's good to know that, my little round tummy is now normal! I thought it was just me too. I don't have a big appetite and when I was very ill for 5 weeks with that dreadful flu, I lost 5lbs in weight which was not good as I need to maintain weight.

I'm now back to 7.10lbs. I did originally think that the round tummy was giving me the back ache with the excess weight but I still had the backache with the weight loss. It's not horrendous but a dull ache which is constant and needs resting.

Best wishes and keep going!

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Flowergirl24

Hi there . We support each other don’t we which is good .

I like you have learned a lot from here .

Thank you for your reply 😊

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Flowergirl24

You sound like me with the constant ache that gets really bad if you do anything. I have a recliner for times like that and I recline it right back. It’s the only way to relieve it. I really must get walking. It’s the one thing I’ve stopped because my back aches when I walk very far. The pain makes my breathing bad too. My little round tummy has grown big where I’ve lost height. I’ve had theee people say I’ve put a lot of weight on but I haven’t only a few pounds. When I think I used to be 5 ft 2 or 3 inches and the last time my height was measured it was 4 ft 11 inches. Probably more now. You’ve given me inspiration to get myself walking again. Thank you for the nudge.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

I think we all need to be able to talk about our experiences good or bad and this medium is perfect for this . Anyone who hasn’t suffered like we have cannot always understand . Oh osteoporosis is common until we or the person saying it gets the complications with it .

I remember my dr saying to me that osteoporotic fractures are the most painful . He wasn’t kidding lol .

To have your whole independence suddenly taken away and having to rely on others is a huge life change . Do we give up ?

No we stay positive and keep striving to go forwards . Every small step or thing we can do on our own is is a big hi five 👍

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

Yes! Big Hi Five!! I live in a retirement block which is really warm and cosy. People in here have doubted I have anything wrong because I can walk and talk. Somebody obviously had been talking to others as two people said to me well how can you walk with back fractures. What I should have said to her was well how do you talk with your false teeth. I must admit it did make me feel bad that I’m not believed. I agree I’ve had my independence taken away. I can’t do much at all now.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Love the “ how can you talk with false teeth . Gave me the laugh I needed after just having major panic attack lol 😂

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

What are you like! Having a panic attack. Mind you I’m not surprised with what we have to put up with. You look after yourself. X

Flowergirl24 profile image
Flowergirl24 in reply to Mavary

I forget the pain when I walk with my wheeler and music on. I used to be so fit before all this happened and was a regular gym person starting from my 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s with no underlying health problems (which played a good part in my recovery) and then I woke up one day in 2019 and needed a liver transplant in 2020 due to Sarcoidosis and along came Osteoporosis etc.

Walking every day (apart from hospital appointments and torrential rain) and the flu recently) is something which I enjoy and not a chore and has helped me straighten up and build strength as I was wheelchair bound last year. Small baby steps at a time.

I'm not giving up yet and after having my quick nap, I'm now off for my walk. :)

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Flowergirl24

Oh no! The dreaded Sarcoidosis. My Mother had that and she was as I expect you are treated with steroid. The bone wrecker. That’s what finished mine. I went to keep fit with a friend once and I must admit I got quite good at it. Then my friend dropped out so I stopped as I didn’t want to be out on my own at night. Well you’ve said about walking as well.. I was getting ready to go out but then the dreaded pain started so I came in to my recliner to rest it a minute. I’m going out in a minute for half an hour.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Flowergirl24

You have overcome a lot to get where you are . We all have our own battles but I have to say you are one amazing lady .

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Flowergirl24

How far do you walk?

Just back in. We are amazing ladies, we’ve just got to keep going and be positive! 😀☀️

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Flowergirl24

Hi Five to that.!!

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Hi five and a glass of wine sounds better lol

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

Cheers to that. X

I’ve been out. I went to the butcher just down the road from me and I went to Edinburgh Woolen Mills and bought a Christmas present. I can walk well now but don’t like using my arms for anything. I cleaned my teeth earlier and had to sit down before I’d finished. I have to do things in fits and starts.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Well done you went out . That’s a positive step in itself . Onwards and upwards 👍

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

I still can’t carry a handbag and I find pulling my trolley eventually makes my back ache. I could do with a motorised one and hope it wouldnt run away with me. 😁😂🤣

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Hubby got me early Christmas present a mobility scooter . It helps me a lot on bad days to get out yaay . I cannot go out alone anyway but at least I don’t have to worry about not getting fresh air lol

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

My Son offered to get me one but I’m not ready yet and I need to walk. Besides I’ve got a car to drive me to the shops. Have you tried the Ostoporosis Group. I’ve rang them a couple of times and they have been very helpful. More helpful than any Dr. They’ve just more or less left me to my own devices.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

I haven’t but I will give them a go . I do walk around as much as possible but I can only walk a little outside with my sticks then need to rest . Plus back gets painful and I have to stop .

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

I’m like that if I walk too far. They do say to walk if you can as it strengthens the vertebrae. Hence why I want to walk. I want to get back to a better fitness and be able to do more. I feel that because I have pain I want to sit and rest all the time but the Osteoporosis Society say exercise. Obviously I don’t know how long you have had your fractures. I’ve found with mine got a little better with time. I only had my last four a few months ago but I think I’m doing well. My T 12 is severe but what that means I don’t know. I think the rest are hovering. 😁

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

My T12 is also severe . That’s the one plus L5 give me most trouble . Every movement has to be cautious . I can’t dress myself without help etc . But yes walking I do as much as I can . No great distances though . I’m unfortunately stopped over so that doesn’t help .

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

Where is L5. Is it a bottom vertebrae. They say that’s the worst ones if it is. I’ve been getting just a little aching in the bottom vertebrae. I was only thinking the other day that I hope they are not going. I think the stooping is what they call a kyphosis. The Consultant wrote on my discharge form that I had a slight kyphosis with my first fractures and now a worsening one. I try to keep upright but I know my back is bending. I’ve looked up my fractures I had this year and they are T 12 which I know is serious then T4 T5 and T6. I can’t find out what my ones from three years ago are. They are up near T4. T5 and T6. I know T12 was one of them. I will ask next time I speak to the consultant. I think it may be six I’ve got not seven as T12 was In my first fractures although it has worsened over the three years getting really bad this year.

Do you have a carer to help you. I’m lucky that I can still manage to dress and shower. It’s a struggle but I do it. It’s lovely after your back aches so much to just sit down ( for me in a recliner ) and just chill out until the pain goes off.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

L5 I beleive is the lower lumbar near coccyx I think . Nasty little thing . My carer is my poor husband it was a bit of shock for both of us . Had only been married a year . I have copies of both my MRI scan results plus I managed to get a photo of the difference of the 2 .

Interesting viewing I must admit .

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

No wonder you are in so much pain. I was watching an operation on TV the other night where they removed a vertebrae that slipped. It was a very delicate operation but they showed the man walking at the end of the program. I suppose with osteoporosis they wouldn’t even consider something like that so we must go on and suffer. I’ve got an XRay copy of my T12 from three years ago but wasn’t offered any after and I never asked.

You are very lucky to have a Husband. I lost mine nearly eight years ago. I still miss him now.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

I’m so so sorry to hear this . Not sure there is a facility on here to private message but if there is and you would like a chat please pm me . More than happy to compare our ailments . Talk about weather or whatever you like ok 😊

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Looby60

I’m terrible at anything that involves technology and haven’t a clue how to do it but if you would like to do it that’s fine.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

That’s ok it was just a thought . Can always follow progress on here no worries . Almost my bed time up at 4 most mornings lol . Speak soon and take care ok 😊

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Mavary

I’ve had a look on the icons but can’t find anything.

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Mavary

Good morning . Always up early here . If you click on my icon by my name it goes to my profile and you can send message .

😊

Hello ladies - lots of reading! Yes, Mavary, I was put on Steroids at the beginning of my treatment which lead to the exacerbation of osteoporosis and Glaucoma and cataracts which I've now had both eyes operated on. How much I walk depends really. I've looked at my saved steps and distance and the longest can be 4-5 miles and the shortest just a couple of miles - with my walker.

It's much easier with either music or chatting to friends or listening to a podcast with your headphones on as you don't really notice the time or distance!

I didn't knot T12 is serious. In fact, I didn't know very much about the fractures I have as no one has really talked about it to me except offer me pysio which I took up and have slowly worked up the ones selected. Walking backwards was a real eye opener and lots of wobbles and falling off the 'line' but I can do it now.

I'm off out again, and its a beautiful sunny day. We have to keep going and my goal is to be walking next year (not miles and miles) with no walking aide but after talking to my OT, maybe with a back brace to help but not to rely on, I'm going to give it a good go!

Till later ladies

☀️

Looby60 profile image
Looby60 in reply to Flowergirl24

Well done you We all have to keep going . It’s a beautiful day here on the Isle of Wight too .

I

Managed a short walk with hubby on my sticks this morning . Lovely to be out in the fresh air .

Yes we rather got carried away having a good natter lol .

Enjoy your walk 👍. Stay safe 😊

Mavary profile image
Mavary in reply to Flowergirl24

Anything from T12 down is the worst ones to have. I’ve had my cataracts done too. That was after the steroids I think. Hmmm! I’ve never even thought about that. I’ve got eye problems anyway. I’ve got dry macular disease.

I’ve been out walking the last couple of days and I must admit I can walk a bit further now with no pain.

I’m not sure I couldnt walk four or five miles. Good on you for doing it. I will definitely be more of a Percy and Persevere. I’m not ready to give up yet. It’s washing up that kills my back more than anything. My kitchen isn’t big enough to take a dishwasher. I can’t have an under counter one as my cupboards are too low for it to go under. There is one I can get but you can’t get parts for it if it goes wrong. So my Son said he wouldn’t advise it. They are a couple of hundred pounds so it’s probably not worth it.

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