Collapsed Vertebra

My L1 has now collapsed.. joining the L2.
The pain is manageable most of the time. It runs down my legs and walking can become very painful. In fact my legs hurt so much I had to ask my massage person to not touch them!!
I see the Dr tomorrow about the results of the two MRI's I had last week.
My question: How do you deal with Collapsed Vertebra? Has anyone had the bone cement?
I am 63 with a LONG history of broken bones... my T- scores range in the -2.5. I was on Fosamax, Forteo and continued to have the same scores.. One doctor told me I was so brittle because I had taken those drugs!!
All suggestions are welcome. Also I live in Mexico...
( believe me it is very safe.. don't believe the press... sort of like don't believe the drug companies.)
I can come to the USA at anytime for treatment.. so if someone knows a great doctor place etc.. let me know.. Thanks again for the help!!
Victoria

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Hi Victoria, Sorry for your pain! My mother has had vertebroplasty(?) twice, the latest just a little over a week ago. For her the relief was immediate. The first time she had two vertebra crumble she was in her 70's and then a few weeks ago she is 84. Both times the diagnosis was hard for them to make!! The first time she was in the hospital for a week they were going to discharge her with no answer for her terrible pain when my father suggested they bring in an orthopedic Dr. for some reason they were focusing on her stomach??? Once they shot the cement in, her relief was immediate. Her crumbled vertebra are in the middle of her back. I'm 55 and have osteoporosis also, and I've been wondering how many out there have collapsed vertebra. Also, when did you find out about your osteoporosis and do you have other health issues that have contributed to it? I'm just wondering when my world may be rocked by this terrible osteo. I am currently not taking anything for it. Tried the Fosamax but didn't feel good about it. Reclast was suggested but I won't play Russian Roulette with my life and, I have a meningioma so the hormonal ones are out, and actually I took HRT for my bones and it probably gave the M a growth spurt and that was when it was discovered, quit the HRT asap. Also, my mothers latest crumbled vertebra did not show up on an xray that her regular Dr. could notice, however the orthopedic Dr. could see it. I love Mexico!! Good luck to you!! Sue

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Good luck Victoria! I've never had vertebro or kyphoplasty. I've had 6 spinal fraxs but they were before the bone cement procedures were available. Do a lot of reading on it and see what your surgeon says. Apparently you can only use vertebroplasty on "new" fraxs and kyphoplasty can be performed on slightly older fractures. If the fracture is already healing they may not do either.

Have you looked at either of the videos available for these procedures? Some do really well like Suel's Mom, but others have trouble with the cement leaking, so be sure to research this thoroughly.

Here's a video for both:

Kyphoplasty: http://www.spine-health.com/video/kyphoplasty-osteoporosis-fracture-treatme nt-video

and

Vertebroplasty: http://www.spine-health.com/video/vertebroplasty-interactive-video Both are from Spine Health

I also wouldn't want to play Russian Roulette with these types of fractures since some may not heal well and can cause other degenerative problems that don't go away. So going with meds and without is a roll of the dice either way, just differing types of side effects, but both can be permanent. Not that I think this will happen to you, but unfortunately it is a possibility; I'm living with this now and it's really difficult since you have to give up a lot in your life, but I'm hoping to get the main problem fixed if my bones are strong enough.

Good luck and I hope you heal fast!

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Thanks all for the answers and thoughts...
Suel I found out about my osteo at 47 years of age when I feel and took out my pelvis! I am a celiac and that was not diagnosed until late in life so that is the MAIN reason for my 'bad bones".
Saw the Doctor today and he thinks letting things go for now... I am willing. He also knows i will NOT take any more drugs... I did Fosamax and Forteo!!
So for now I will just put up with the back and hope it gets more comfortable soon!! Trying not to let it slow me down... I REFUSE to let 'it' win...
hugs to all and thanks for the support!

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Victoria: Good luck with it, girl. How's San Miguel?

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San Miguel is super... a bit to hot right now.... but the rains will start soon and then our normal (what ever normal is) will return.

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Hi Victoria,
Back pain is so debilitating and I think I know what you are experiencing. I too had collapsed vertebrae, L3 and L4. My mistake was to have an orthopedist perform surgery; I should have found a good neurosurgeon instead when I first considered back surgery. The doctor inserted screws, bone from human source and a lifter. With back surgery you are always risking nerve damage which I now have and the pain is such that living without pain medication is virtually impossible. That in itself is quite a dilemma. When I complained about pain I did not have before the surgery the doctor became impatient and scolded me "for not getting with the program". I also learned, not until after the third back surgery, and a neurosurgeon this time around, that my pain was due to nerve damage, which is permanent. I also learned, much too late, that when one part of the spine is stabilized adjacent vertebrae are weakened and tend to collapse and down that road you go. If I had known I would have avoided surgery altogether and gone to physical therapy for muscle strength to prevent further collapse. I swim and do back exercises regularly and now take Celexa for the nerve pain.
I encourage you to do plenty of research before you opt for surgery. I wish you well and hope you can avoid what I have experienced.
Sincerely,
Mcmymm

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NEVER fear no surgery for me! Sorry for your pain and surgery nightmare! I would for sure use a neurosurgeon.
Thank you for taking time to write...

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I am 65 yrs old and was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2001, which was already -4. in 2007 had compression fractures in T5 -T7. They healed in about 2 months and life went on. I have never taken any osteo meds. Now this past year I've had more compession fratures in L1-L5 and also T12. I had the kyphoplasty 3 weeks ago for T12 and just last Tues for L1 - L2 going back again for treatment in the other lumber vertbrae. Pain is quite bad at times, never much relief. I keep hoping that SOON I will be the way I was before. I am a yoga teacher and have not been able to practice for over 6 months. It is depressing, frustrating not to be able to do simple things. whatever I do takes much effort and lots of sitting down resting in between. If anyone has had the kyphgoplasty, please let me know if you ever are pain free.

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OH wow!! I am never complaining again!!! Sutamrog you are my hero.... best wishes... hugs...

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It is so very hard to understand osteoporosis.. exercise is supposed to be so good for those suffering with OP and here you are Sutamrog a yoga teacher and have -4... I personally think lack of hormones is the no 1 cause of OP. Hope you recuperate soon.

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I think mine was my Celiac disease.. which I probably had all my life but was not diagnosed until I was in my 40's... but I also had my ovaries removed at the age of 38... whatever caused it I have it... now learning to live with it and have a full life is the goal...
I am not Celiac and I am not osteoporosis... I am Victoria... ... hugs

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According to Louise Hay, osteoporosis is due to not feeling supported, either financially or emotionally, and I can relate to both. I understand that past negative fear-like patterns of consciousness created this situation, I have been focusing on loving myself more, being kind and gentle to myslef and trusting the God/goddess, Universe, The Creator, Higher Power - whoever - will always protect me. I firmly believe that our thoughts manifest into whatever it is we are thinking, either consciously or subconsciously, either positive or negative. What I've also discovered is that the negative seems to manifest so much easier, and that I imagine is due to the amount of emotion and belief that go into the negative feelings, especailly according to "Abraham". Any thoughts on this - would love to hear. Susan

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Osteoporosis. Louise’s understanding of the belief: Feeling there is no support left in life.
The affirmation: I stand up for myself and Life supports me in unexpected, loving ways.

I don't think it can hurt to add the affirmation to our lives... this is ON top of anything else you are doing for your osteoporosis and your life.... Positive is always good!!!
Thanks Susan

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Hi ! Eight months ago I was hit head on by a drunk driver and sustained several compression fractures of the spine. The orthopedic surgeon I saw then had me see his nurse practitioner who did not advise me to alter my activity much and then sent me to a round of physical therapy because I continued to have pain. After complaining again and starting to have difficulty walking they ordered an MRI of my lumbar spine. Found fractures of L3 and L4. While trying to get myself off the MRI table that day I felt a sharp pain in my back and the next morning I could not walk . Went back to the orthopedist where they said I had multiple fractures and possibly I should just learn to live with them. I finally was able to walk again in two days but had extreme back pain. The doctor put me on FMLA leave from my job for three months. I began to search for another specialist. He has not been much more personable than the first one. He did more MRIs and now tells me I have six compression fractures in the lumbar and thoracic area. He then said, " well, we need to test you for bone cancer" and walked out of the exam room. I had the bloodwork done and waited four horrible days to get the results. Days where I contemplated taking a fatal overdose because I was so afraid. I am glad now that I did not give into the impulse as my tests came back normal. I do not have myeloma but I do have osteoporosis. Although it's not a great diagnosis I am thrilled not to have myeloma ! I have a bone density scheduled for wednesday . The doctor said he wants to refer me to an endocrinologist for evaluation as well. In the mean time I am stuck coping with these compression fractures which continue to cause me great discomfort not controlled at all by Trammadol 50mg as needed and ongoing difficulty walking.. I have about a month left to be able to walk better or lose my job and medical insurance. I also have to learn how to manage this condition so am frantically researching this site and anywhere else I can find for guidance. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have learned more here in three days than in eight months going to the doctors ... Sad.. But I am so glad I found this place....

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WOW... you have been thur the wringer! Sorry for all your pain! And no trammadol will not handle it. I do know when broke my L2 I was put on bed rest. THE PAIN GETS better... as with any broken bone they hurt but they do heal!!! Do you have a back brace yet? That does help with the walking. I also got SOME relief from heat. But mostly rest... letting it heal! I think getting out of pain is the most important thing... you heal better with less pain. I had a horrible time with the pain because you can not get pain meds where I live. I am in Mexico and most people think drugs are everywhere here...NOT good pain meds... there is only one Dr. in our town that can prescribe 'REAL' pain meds like codine! They are tightly controlled. That is a real problem with medical care here... pain control.
Part of the culture is that life is painful etc.. Hospice has been a hard sale as a concept...but we do have one now..
At 8months the pain should be much much better but it sounds like you are still getting fractures. Endocrinologist would be a start.. they will want to give you meds for the osteo. Make sure you research them and make an informed choice about what ones to take.
Keep looking for answers here .... wish I could be of more help... HUGS

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has anyone suggested kyphoplasty? I have had multiple compression fractures due to severe osteoporosis. In the last 5 weeks I have had this procedure done 3 times, the last one just a few days ago covering T 12 all the way through L 1 - L 5. I am hoping that in a few weeks I will feel much better. I already see improvement, at least not in pain, much pressure becasue I have lost height and my ribs have gotten closer to the pelvis and apparently pressing on organs. I think once I start physical therapy things will improve. Check out kyphoplasty - maybe this could be your answer. Susan

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Thanks Susan... I am checking that out... Best wishes for a great and pain free recovery!!

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