View Full Version : Now I find out I also have osteopenia

05-21-2008, 01:53 PM
I just got a call from Dr. Dumbell (the local ortho guy I saw here in NJ) who says my bone density levels are lower than they should be for my age. Said it's too early for osteoperosis medicine, but to take calcium. Which I started a few weeks ago.

SHEESH I know things could be worse. But I was just starting to get my head around this stuff and feel a little better, mentally that is. Dr. DB actually got on the phone and spoke to me, and asked about my appointment w/Dr. Neuwirth, who he told me he trained under. (and I already knew) :)

I'm just feeling like a MESS. This won't stop the surgery would it? Could it mean that the fusion might not be successful?

05-21-2008, 04:05 PM
Hi Debbe,
I don't think it should stop surgery. Right before I had my appt. with Dr. Boachie I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my neck and osteopenia in my lumbar. I took him the reports and he still suggested surgery. It kind of threw me when I first found out too, but am now on meds. and have upped my calcium intake and am feeling better about it all. Make sure you get enough calcium rich foods and also vitamin D. I went to a nutritionist about this and she also suggested when taking the calcium to take it with say a glass of milk or with yogurt. She said it absorbs better that way.

Quite a process this all is. You've been asking some great questions. Things I've been wondering about, but haven't gotten around to asking yet. I was also concerned about the posterior part and caustrophobia. Let us know how your appt. with Dr. Boachie goes.


05-21-2008, 06:05 PM
I spoke to the nurse practioner from Dr. Neuwirth's office this afternoon and she said that they really needed to see the report. She reminded me that Dr. Dumbell really isn't an expert in osteoperosis, and they have someone in their office who is. I'll get it and mail to them. I'm really trying not to get myself worked up. I will make sure I have the report in my hands when we go see Dr. Boachie.

I'm a little confused--have you had surgery? I couldn't tell by your signiture. LOL how I ask questions that everyone thinks but I ask. :) I'm glad I can help.

05-21-2008, 07:00 PM
Osteopenia is very common in women (esp.as we age) and looking on the plus side, it was caught before you developed a bad case of osteoporosis. There are various medications that your doctor can prescribe to slow down or reverse bone loss. I have osteopenia. I'm 63 y.o. and will be having surgery in June. I am taking the generic of Fosamax to slow down or reverse the bone loss, as well as Vit. D, Viactiv (has calcium plus D). My general physician did a blood test for Vit. D level and found mine was very low which is important for the body to utilize calcium. A doctor told me that it takes about 2 years for the beneficial effects to show up. What is nice now is that conditions can be identified and treated and we can have a better quality of life as we age. Exercise esp. walking is very good to strengthen the bones, I understand.

05-21-2008, 07:51 PM
I haven't had surgery yet (or even scheduled it). I'm still in the process of seeing Drs. and making decisions. The only decision I've made so far is that I definitely need surgery. I know I'd like to use Dr. Boachie, but we'll have to see how it goes with the ins. co.

I've been going to PT and they've added weights to my exercises to help with the bone density issue. They also agreed that walking is excellent. Have you done any PT yet? It hasn't really helped with the pain, but I do feel stronger and more flexable. I also feel more comfortable using weights under their supervision.


05-21-2008, 08:04 PM
it definitely feels good. They just use heat and electrical stimulation on me, massage, and have me do stretches, & a few excercises. I've also been using my treadmill (fast walking, I never ever liked to run) for about a month consistently now. I do feel better than a few months ago physically.

So I guess the 2 of us are in the same stage of this process.


05-21-2008, 08:29 PM
They also found osteopenia in one of my hips when they did my bone density testing before surgery. I think it's common and not much of a problem as far as the surgery was concerned. The just took bone from my rib cage instead of my hip.

05-21-2008, 08:43 PM
They also found osteopenia in one of my hips when they did my bone density testing before surgery. I think it's common and not much of a problem as far as the surgery was concerned. The just took bone from my rib cage instead of my hip.

Remember autograft isn't the only option, either. Hanson used a combination of allograft and BMP during my surgery - and it's appearing to fuse very well on x-rays.

I was intent on avoiding a bone graft anyway ... I had no interest in "bonus pain".


05-21-2008, 09:17 PM
Hi Debbei,
I had (have?) osteopenia too. Dr. Boachie said "no big deal" and apparently it wasn't. At first I panicked too, but there is no need to worry. Just take your calcium!