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Progression of Osteoporosis
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prizsm posted:
I'm a 56 year old woman finished with menopause. My mother who is 83 has osteoporosis that started in her lower back in the mid 1980's and is now affecting her neck. The neck pain is more severe than the back pain ever was. She is very stooped and wonders if the vertebrae in her upper back have actually fused.

Our question is what do we expect in the progression of her disease? She is being treated with reclast infusions one a year. The pain ebbs right after the treatment, but that relief is fleeting.

She takes Cal/Mag with added D and Zinc providing 1,000 mg calcium and 500 mg magnesium daily.

Where can we find information on how this disease typically progresses so that she can know what to anticipate. How does the stooping posture affect her internally? Does osteoporosis in the neck affect the way the brain functions? Since her neck has become painful it does seem that her memory is giving her more difficulty. Can osteoporosis in the back part of the neck cause seizures?

Thanks so much from a present sufferer and someone who doesn't want to follow the same path.
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bonebabe responded:
My thought would be that she's had compression fractures in her cervical spine rather than fusions. The osteoporosis, as it progresses and thins the bones, causes the vertebrae to collapse. It can be very painful and debilitating. If her posture is very stooped, the effort to hold her head upright causes the muscles in the neck to stretch and strain. This also is extremely painful. I've not hear of a memory or seizure connection.

You might want to check into kyphoplasty for her if indeed compression fractures have been diagnosed. That actually can realign the bones and cement them in place, giving instant relief. Also injections of Miacalcin in the spine can help with pain.

The Reclast may not be enough, but not knowing your Mom's scores, it's difficult to tell. You could ask her doctor about Forteo instead, then follow with Reclast after 2 years of treatment.

Go to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (www.nof.org ) website for a lot of good information. They also have an excellent booklet that we use in teaching our rehab classes called "Boning Up on Osteoporosis." Get it for both of you.


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