View Full Version : Devastated: Bone Density Results

08-08-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi Everyone,

The surgeon called today and said my bone density results are not favorable and she is not able to do surgery because my bones are too soft. My next step is to see a bone specialist who will determine why my bones are so soft (genetics, nutrition, etc.) and tell me if there is a medication to "beef up my bone density" to some day have surgery. I'm crushed.


08-08-2011, 04:00 PM
i am so sorry to hear this, Doreen...
i hope you can find the right doctor to help you...
there are specialists in that are...i was actually referred to one by my own gyn in NYC...

in the mean time, i also hope you can find a pain management doctor who can help you with some kind of shots (or other treatments) while you are trying to improve your bone strength....it took me a few years to find the injections that relieve my pain
(for 3 months) but i am so grateful i stuck with it!

best of luck

08-08-2011, 04:45 PM
I am so sorry to hear this news. I know how difficult it is to make the decision to go for the surgery and then to have it denied. It iIS devastating. However, you and the surgeon do NOT want the surgery to fail. It is a worry that the fusion takes even when there is no problem with bone density.

Hopefully, you will find a doctor who can help you get your bone density such that you can have the surgery in the future. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Take care,

08-08-2011, 05:18 PM
Hi Doreen,

I am in the same boat, except not a month away from surgery. I was also told that my bone density needs to improve so I am waiting and hoping that something can be done so that I might be able to "qualify" for surgery next year hopefully. I am sorry that you got this news so close to your surgery date. If you need to talk please p.m. me.

08-08-2011, 06:01 PM
Oh Doreen, I am so very sorry to hear that!

I'll be praying that your bones are able to regain enough strength to endure the surgery, and that in the meantime you can find some sort of relief for the discomfort and pain.

Again, so so sorry to hear that...I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you.


08-08-2011, 06:10 PM
I'm so confused right now. Hubby and I are jotting down questions for when we see specialist: Does this mean I can never have surgery? How fast can density improve for surgery? What are the treatment options?


08-08-2011, 06:27 PM
Doreen and Twin

I’m so sorry to hear about this, you were so ready. Think of it as a good thing, you wouldn’t have wanted to proceed unless everything was ok to begin with.....

Keep your head up, visit this new doctor and get your self ready. Your day will come.

Keep posting. We enjoy your posts!

08-08-2011, 07:59 PM
I am so sorry to hear that . I hope that you are able to find a doctor that can get your bones stronger

You are in my prayers


08-08-2011, 08:21 PM
So sorry you will need to postpone your surgery. There seems to be a lot of products that will help with bone density--they have side affects, but it sounds like this might be a path you might need to take.

I have to redo my bone density test on Friday when I have my two week pre-surgery meeting. Apparently the test my local hospital ran last year was not the right type for determining true bone density.

I know that on my first meeting with the surgeon, explained how much he can straighten my spine is in some correlation how dense my bones are.

Best wishes and hope you find the right combination of bone strengthener and exercising to get you back on track.

08-08-2011, 09:37 PM
Spine surgery in patients with osteoporosis can be a slippery slope, but I don't think I've seen a case here at UCSF where a patient has been denied surgery because of it. There are some techniques that can be used, to help keep implants in place when there's low bone density. You might want to shop around a bit, and see if you can find someone who has more experience... perhaps a university doctor. Where are you located?


08-08-2011, 10:15 PM
Hi, Doreen,

I'm so sorry your surgery can't proceed as scheduled. It must be very
disappointing. There are many medications to improve bone density. (I have
osteopenia, and have taken Actonel, Boniva and Atelvia for the past six years or
so. My 80-year-old mother, who has osteoporosis, is on a two-year regimen of
Forteo, after a number of years on other medications. When my surgeon came into
the family waiting room to tell my husband how my surgery had gone he said that
my bones were soft. I'll find out more when I see him for my first post-op visit
next week. My surgery only took three hours; it has occurred to me that maybe
part of the reason the surgery was fast is that my bones were soft. I had a
bone density test as part of my pre-op testing but I haven't yet found out the
results of the test.

I hope with all my heart that eventually you'll be able to have the surgery.

Mary, 54 years old
T57, L43
surgery - 7/05/11 - Dr. Boachie , Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
T2-T12, posterior

08-09-2011, 09:17 AM
The surgeon's office just called to say they spoke with the bone specialist and he had a cancellation for Aug 24, so I'm scheduled to see him. Surgeon's nurse said he will most likely put me on meds. Surgeon wants to see me in 6 months to run another bone scan.

My current bone density is T score of lumbar (the area that has the surgeon most concerned) -2.4. Z score is -2.0 Nurse said healthy range is 0 to -1, osteopenia -1 to -2.4, osteoporosis -2.5 and lower.


08-15-2011, 03:40 PM
Hi Everyone,

I finally have the density report in my hand and a couple things confused me. The report states:
"please note that the presence of severe dextroscoliosis of the lumbar spine may falsely elevate the bone mineral density." I had just read over the weekend that doing a bone scan at the location of surgery is not always good because if, in the example of spinal surgery, scoliosis is present, the spine will not have normal load bearing which may negatively impact the test results.

The other surprise on the report is that all other bone areas tested at normal ranges of 97% and 99%. So how is it possible for one section of bones in a body to be greatly different in density (my spine is at 75%). I'm thankful God put this little hiccup in my path and redirected me to Dr. Lenke.


loves to skate
08-15-2011, 05:32 PM
My bone density was right on the edge of being osteopenia but when I had my surgery, my Doctor said that he could stabilize my spine, but not straighten it because the bones were a little too soft. I was a little disappointed about not getting a couple of inches back, but at least, I have an active life which I wouldn't have had without surgery.

08-21-2011, 11:25 PM
What is considered low bone density ? I had a BMD in June of 2009 by my Gyncologist and I was told I had Osteopenia and put on Fosomax. I told my surgeon this in Oct 2010 before my Nov surgery and he made no comment, wasnt concerened. I was never given a BMD before my surgery by my surgeon or asked to see the results of my June 09 one..

08-22-2011, 06:10 AM
My scores are T -2.4 and Z -2.0 which are osteopenia range. Osteoporis is -2.5 and beyond. It is odd because after I received the full BMD report, bone density elsewhere in my body was at 97% and 99% solid, strong, healthy bone. I don't understand, especially since the report said, "... due to severe scoliosis in lumbar, lumbar results may be inaccurate..." I see an endocrinologist on Aug 24. On Aug 24 I'll see Dr. Lenke for a second opinion and pray he will be able to help.


08-22-2011, 07:46 AM
Hi Doreen,
I have not had surgery, but last year when I had a bone density test I also got a high reading in the spine area and it also said may not be valid because of significant degenerative changes. The doctor, without the surgery consideration, was concerned that I might have osteoperosis. He sent me to a rheumatologist to weigh in. The rheumatologist decided I didn't. Your values sound worse--but hope that will somehow be the case for you. Also, I thought it might be of help to you that the physiatrist recommended a rheumatologist to interpret the results though this may be different because of degenerative changes. I am older than you and already knew I have osteopenia, but am glad I did not turn out to have osteoperosis.

Also, I've been told that scoliosis makes osteopenia/osteoperosis more likely because of the added pressure to the bones.

I am rooting for you that you can have the surgery you have decided on.