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Thread: Scoliosis & Osteoporosis

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2

    Scoliosis & Osteoporosis

    Hi all! I am a 46 year old woman who has a not too severe case of scoliosis: a double major curve - 40 top, 35 bottom.

    Although my curves are not as nearly bad as many of you here, I have had hip pain for over 15 years and it has been escalating to at first my lower back, but more recently my entire back as well as my ribs sometimes (costochondritis?).

    I have another issue, however. Although I am premenopausal, I have severe osteoporosis. I have never fractured anything (knock wood!), but my hips are a -3.1 on a dexa scan.

    I've been to 2 endocrinologists (one in NYC - Columbia U Hospital) who suspects I may have Celiacs Disease (although it is not confirmed - CD can be very difficult to diagnose - although 1 in 133 people have it) which is an intolerance to gluten - wheat, barley & rye, which causes the intestinal tract to not properly absorb nutrients - especially calcium in my case, perhaps. This is something I may have had since being weened.

    Knowing that osteoporosis and scoliosis are thought to be somehow related, I'm wondering if anyone else here knows if they have osteoporosis without the typical reasons for having it (menopause, problems with menstruation, steroid use, etc.). I say "knows if they have osteo..." because unless one has taken a bone density test, or unless one has had fratured bones, one would not know they even had it as there are no symptoms other than fracture.


    Sorry if this message is too long winded... basically just want to know if there are others out there with both scoliosis & osteoporosis (not due to the typical reasons).

    Thanks!!

    Lisa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy Hi Lisa....

    I wish that I had answers for you! I also have both conditions, and am in a lot of pain!!!
    I don't know where or who to turn to, I'm a bit dissapointed with this forum, not many answers or replys here

    Have you found any help?
    Hope to hear from you~~~
    Linda
    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" :!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    I've had scoliosis since age 13 and when I was 57 I had a bone density test and my results were deemed slightly better than would be expected at age 57. When I had my surgery, my surgeon told me my bones were "good". How good, I do not know. So it seems my scoliosis hasn't had a bad affect on my bones so far.

    I need to keep a track of my bone density though because both my mother and grandmother had osteoporosis. My grandmother also had mild scoliosis. I take Calcium daily.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,952
    Hi...

    There's never been a definitive study showing any link between the two. There's some who contend that it's bracing in kids that causes many to suffer from low bone density. In adults, I think it's often the fact that low bone density is the cause of degenerative scoliosis.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    have had scoli since before teen years, though not diagnosed til age 31...have osteopenia now...but first bone density around age 40 showed none...i do not think my osteo & scoli are related...i am the "type" though...small, small boned, thin, etc...also i didnt eat well in my 20's on up, & didnt start taking calcium as early as i should have, so i am sure all that contributed! the gyn & G.P. always told me that osteoporosis is silent..doesnt cause pain, that is how so many can have it & not know it...everything else is causing me pain, tho...the scoli, degenerative discs, spinal stenosis & arthritis!

    jess

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    One possible link I can think of is that scoliosis causes pain in a fair percentage of scoli patients which in turn, may make the patient more sedentary. Doing less weight bearing exercise is a contributor to osteoporosis.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Dubuque, Iowa
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by wnorm View Post
    What I've read about the scoliosis/osteoporosis or osteopenia connection is that it is possible that individuals now presenting with scoliosis may have had low bone density from birth which then contributed to a weakness in the bones and the resulting structural imbalance. If we had had a bone density taken at, for example, 15 years it may have shown that we actually had a significantly low density relative to values expected for that age group. Something to consider! I don't know if low bone density is genetically inherited, or even as a result of poor pre-natal care. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    This is an interesting theory, I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 5....at age 25 I broke my first rib, from laughing...yes laughing...over the next 12 years I would break 5 more for ridiculous reasons. At 38 pain brought me to check on my back, new diagnosis of kyphoscoliosis. I was now in need of surgery and a dexa scan was ordered. Low and behold I have osteoporosis under 40 yrs of age. I really believe this has some connection and that I have always had low bone density, it was just never checked....I wonder if there is any on going research on this theory, hmm...
    Spring
    42 yrs old
    Milwaukee braced 1983 to 1989
    was told my curves would never progress
    at 19yrs old 1991, T30-L38
    2010, T38-L56--progression in one year 2011, T40-L67
    new diagnosis-kyphoscoliosis, DDD, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, 73 degree Kyphosis
    Surgery 1-09-12....10 hrs all posterior T4-sacrum & 2 cages
    Dr. Lenke-St. Louis Mo.
    Surgery to clean out infection 2-10-12
    Revision for broken rods 1-23-14

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