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View Full Version : Fractured spine due to prednisone



Hunniebun
04-14-2011, 05:36 PM
Has this happened to anyone else? I've been on prednisone for a long time now, too long in fact according to my GP. I have been having severe lower back pain that just wasn't going away, so I went to my GP yesterday because I am STILL waiting to see a new rheumy, and he checked me out and strongly feels I have a compression fracture in my spine.
He said the prednisone has caused bone density loss and my spine may have cracked, without me getting injured. I am going for x-rays next week but for now all I can do is be very careful, take pain meds and ice the area.
I've always had a very high intake of calcium, but I guess it wasn't enough to save my bones. I am pretty bummed out by this...I'm using my cane almost all the time now to walk, and going up the stairs is impossible now.

tgal
04-14-2011, 07:50 PM
Oh I am so sorry! I know my rhuemy at the medical center was really upset that I hadn't had a bone density test due to the length of my steroid use. I couldn't afford to do it so I am still in limbo. My mom had one due to Osteoporosis and it hurt so badly. I hope you get help soon!

Bonita
04-15-2011, 06:34 AM
This is something i have to worry about also and have been check for fractures a coulpe of times. I already have a cage and plates and screws in my middle back. Bonita

magistramarla
04-16-2011, 08:12 PM
Hunnie,
It sounds like the prednisone may have led to Avascular Necrosis. Check out this site for more info: http://avnsupport.org/
I have AVN in my knee, but I never took steroids. Because I have it, I can never take them.
It makes treating my AI issues much more challenging.
Let us know what you find out.
Hugs,
Marla

Saysusie
04-16-2011, 08:17 PM
I am so sorry to hear this. Do check out the site that Magistramarla suggested, it does have some good information.
Sending you {{hugs}}

Peace and Blessings
Namaste
Saysusie

Hunniebun
04-16-2011, 10:10 PM
Thanks guys and thanks for the link Marla. He didn't say anything about this, for now we're going on the fracture and if its not that then he'll look for something else.
I'm going for the x-ray I hope on monday if it's not too busy in there as it's walk in. I have been feeling better, the pain has toned down but when I press on the area its definitely still tender and painful and weird in that area of my spine. I also feel it in my upper spine too between my shoulder blades, it's like both areas have sunk in or something, I don't know...A little scared and a little depressed, worried about what the results will be.

Nonna
04-17-2011, 06:12 AM
I don't know if this is relevant; but having hypocalcemia I am not able to retain calcium in my blood. So the levels in my bone are slowly disappearing. My endo has a scanner in his office that checks my bone density once a year. I've always tried to ignore the back pain as I've had it for a long time.

The reason I mentioned this is it is something else for you to ask about.

Nonna

tgal
04-17-2011, 06:19 AM
Hunnie,
It sounds like the prednisone may have led to Avascular Necrosis. Check out this site for more info: http://avnsupport.org/
I have AVN in my knee, but I never took steroids. Because I have it, I can never take them.
It makes treating my AI issues much more challenging.
Let us know what you find out.
Hugs,
Marla

Great information, Marla! Thank you

tgal
04-17-2011, 06:26 AM
Thanks guys and thanks for the link Marla. He didn't say anything about this, for now we're going on the fracture and if its not that then he'll look for something else.
I'm going for the x-ray I hope on monday if it's not too busy in there as it's walk in. I have been feeling better, the pain has toned down but when I press on the area its definitely still tender and painful and weird in that area of my spine. I also feel it in my upper spine too between my shoulder blades, it's like both areas have sunk in or something, I don't know...A little scared and a little depressed, worried about what the results will be.

Hi there. I know this is a scary and depressing time. We get used to certain things and learn to adjust our mood to accept them. When new things pop up it often takes us back closer to how we were when we first became ill. It takes some time for our brain to adjust to the new feelings. The good news is that you adjusted once and figured out that your life would go on and you will do it again. It is OK to have an adjustment time but never forget " when gentle hands and the heart of a fighter, you are a survivor".

Hunniebun
04-17-2011, 10:22 PM
Thanks again you guys, I even forgot about my own signature!

My step mom can't retain calcium in her body either so she takes magnesium along with the calcium to help and told me to do the same thing, so I'm going to ask about that too.
I go for my xrays tomorrow and should have the results sometime within the same week. The pain is getting easier for me to deal with, it's still there but it's not as bad, so I am quite confused, but we'll see what the xrays say. There can't NOT be something wrong there, I am worried that they'll tell me there's nothing wrong, when I'm pretty dang sure there is...I hate that feeling.
The pain is definitely there, I feel it, he felt it, he could see it on my face when he touched the area. I can't believe how fast my arthritis is spreading and progessing, I didn't even think it'd be in my spine already....

Anyway sorry I am babbling and worrying, gotta stop that haha.

You guys are all wonderful, thank you.

Hunniebun
06-03-2011, 10:29 PM
The x-rays didn't show anything so I was sent for a CT scan about a month ago and got the results yesterday. My spine has a lot more wear and tear than it should for my age, also disc is pushing on a nerve, and the RA has moved into my back as well. All I can do for now is keep taking the meds I am on plus pain killers when I need them until I see a new rheum...*sigh* My back will always bother me now along with the rest of me that's wrecked from RA. I shouldn't be surprised at this news really, because I know this is how it all works...But it still depresses me a bit, I'm 24, not 65, and that's the age my body thinks I am.

Linda From Australia
06-03-2011, 10:42 PM
Oh GOSH that is not good news. Are you still able to ride you horse, like in your picture

tgal
06-03-2011, 10:42 PM
Oh I know that has to be so depressing! I am so sorry you are having to go through this but please remember that new and improved meds are FINALLY starting to come out. You are young and within the next 10 years I believe there will be new things that can help not only your RA but your back as well. Try to hold on to that. Until you can just remember that we are here for you!

steve.b
06-04-2011, 02:06 AM
as mari has said.
new advances in medicine are happenning all the time.

my wife also has ra and degenerative back problems.
she is about to undergo the first of 2 knee replacements.

as part of her preperation, she has just has steroids injected into her back.
so she can perform the necessary physio to recover from her knee operations.
2 days after the injection, no pain.

medicine is improving all the time.
remember that. all the time.

lovedbyHim
06-04-2011, 03:23 AM
Hi Hunnie,I am new here. I read your words and my heart is heavy for you. Back pain is horrible. I pray you can find relief from it.

Gizmo
06-04-2011, 04:37 AM
Do you take Vitamin D? Many Americans are vitamin D deficient, so many in fact that our local health fair has added vitamin D levels to the lists of blood tests offered. If you avoid the sun, you are at even greater risk. Many rheumatologists also treat osteoporosis and can do bone scans in their office. My hubby has osteoporosis because of genetics and goes to the same rheumatology group that my daughter and I do. They can also give you Boniva or another similar drug to help maintain the bone you have. When is your rheumy appointment? Maybe your GP can get that moved up for you?

If your x-ray doesn't show anything, ask for an MRI. I would also ask for a consult with an orthpedic surgeon who specializes in spinal problems. I'm not suggesting surgery, but that you treat this seriously. Your GP isn't qualified to treat problems with your discs or vertebrae. Hopefully getting into an orthopedist will happen faster than the rheumy. Wishing you a quiet and comfortable weekend.

Gizmo
06-04-2011, 04:41 AM
Oops, missed the whole second page of posts, including the one about getting a CT scan, although I think many docs prefer and MRI if you can lie flat for an hour. I think the rest of my post is still relevant.

Hunniebun
06-06-2011, 03:31 PM
Since he's not qualified enough we are going to wait until I see another rheum and then I will probably have the MRI done. I'm not sure if I'm going to see an orthopedist or not because my GP told me I am not at a stage where I need anything major done, but I don't know...Just want to see another rheum, hopefully a good one this time, to start all over for the third time, to see what can be done for me head to to.
I just had a cortisone injection into my left palm today because I am having trigger finger again, and if that doesn't work then I'll be having the same surgery I had before that fixed my right hand. He doesn't want to put cortisone into my back...I've been having too many of these shots and I know it's not good for you. I've had one in my tailbone, 3 in my hip and now 1 in my left hand.

I appreciate the information though thank you so much. Whenever I figure out what's going to happen next I'll let you all know.

Hunniebun
06-06-2011, 03:32 PM
Whoops and yes, I do take Vit D and calcium!