Old 09-30-2008, 01:10 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Osteopenia with ALS

Hi all. I haven't been around much, we've been busy trying to get the bedroom/bathroom addition underway, I've returned back to work part time and I'm running myself ragged.

Anywho, DH fell and fractured his right arm about two weeks ago. The Xray showed that his right arm bone was osteoporotic (osteopenia). So, in follow up with his neurologist yesterday, he put him on Caltrate with Vitamin D. He's ordering a Dexa scan to check the rest of his body and make sure it's just his right arm (which atrophied first) and if not, it could be something entirely different and he'll have to see an endocrinologist.

Any experience with this? DH is only 32.

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:27 PM #2 (permalink)
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Wow! Haven't heard of Osteopenia! Very sorry to hear about his arm! I hope it is not found anywhere else.

Hope his arm heals up OK.

Try not to wear yourself out. I know it is hard!

Nice to hear from you...
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:42 PM #3 (permalink)
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Hello Duplinwino

You indicated that his bones were osteoporotic but then said he has osteopenia. Those are two different conditions.

In layman's terms, osteoporosis is a disease of "brittle bone" and is due mainly to chronic calcium deficiency (and possibly vitamin D deficiency). Think of the bone in this condition as being an old, brittle stick that is easy to break.

Osteopenia (again in layman's terms) is a disease of "soft bone" due mainly to a deficiency of vitamin D. Think of the bone in this condition as being a new branch on a tree that is easy to bend but does not break. Rickets is the childhood form of this disease.

Osteopenia can certainly be something that leads into osteoporosis, so it is good that your physician is addressing the problem.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:23 PM #4 (permalink)
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Thanks. Ok, I thought I read osteopenia was similar to osteoporosis, or would lead to osteoporosis. Hopefully this is just from disuse of his arm, but his neurologist seemed puzzled that it would happen this quickly. He seems to have no mineral left in that humerus. It is bright white on film.

HI CJ! Hope you're doing well!
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:07 PM #5 (permalink)
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My dad was originally diagnosed with spinal curvature due to osteoporosis, as the reason why his back and neck keeled over and he could no longer hold his head upright. However, his bone scan came back indicating osteopenia rather than full blown osteoporosis. The doctor did not look any further for other possible causes, and for 2 years he ate high calcium foods and took Fosomax (a med. for osteoporosis). Later, when he was finally diagnosed with ALS, his new doctor said his spinal problem was caused by the ALS and the muscle wasting in his back. The osteopenia was also present, and needed to be addressed with nutrition and medication, but it was not the underlying cause of his physical problems.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:17 PM #6 (permalink)
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steroids usage can cause these problems with bones
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