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Thread: What is the reasoning of a bone density scan

  1. #1

    What is the reasoning of a bone density scan

    in my 65 year old body at 42 years post SCI? Doc says it is normal to have one done sometime between age 65-70. He is not a SCI doc.
    From the time you were born till you ride in a hearse, there is nothing so bad that it couldn't be worse!

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  2. #2
    He will be able to confirm what you already know about your highly fragile bones and have information that will enable him to recommend treatments that will not work. Most importantly, it will help to keep $ coming to the medical community.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    He will be able to confirm what you already know about your highly fragile bones and have information that will enable him to recommend treatments that will not work. Most importantly, it will help to keep $ coming to the medical community.
    I agree 100%. Why test when you know the outcome and there are no proven treatments?
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  4. #4
    I think I disagree with the others....

    My Dad had a SCI at 65, and is 4 years post. He likely had some mild osteoporosis before his injury from low testosterone for years, but had a DEXA after his injury and documented the bone loss then.

    His Vitamin D level was very low when it was tested for the first time after his injury, and he wasn't getting enough dietary calcium - both important for bone health for everyone. His testosterone was also low - this will also accelerate osteoporosis.

    So we started vitamin D and calcium supplements, improved his testosterone dose, and started treatments for osteoporosis. His DEXA scan improved, his fractures healed faster... and most importantly..... he has fallen at least 25 times since then and has not broken a single bone.

    Your doctor is also telling you that men WITHOUT SCI are being found more and more to have osteoporsis, and that now docs are realizing that this is now worth addressing with DEXA scans in men. Men are living longer these days, meaning falling and breaking hips at older ages.... and a broken hip for us as we get older puts us on a slippery slope downhill....

    Maybe talk about it with your physiatrist as well.

  5. #5
    55, you make me laugh and TomRL, I'm sure you are laughing with us. I couldn't agree more especially with the job security.

    hlh, there may be/have been some benifit for your dad at age 65 but the big difference is being inactive 4 years to over 40. It has turned out to be a beautiful day and I'm on my way out to get some vitamin D.
    From the time you were born till you ride in a hearse, there is nothing so bad that it couldn't be worse!

    All fringe benifits must be authorized by Helen Waite, if you want your SCI fixed go to Helen Waite!

    Why be politically correct when you can be right!

  6. #6
    Senior Member ColonusFan's Avatar
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    Cool One of the contributing factors

    Dear Oldtimer,

    One of the things I have learned is that muscle atrophy and osteoporosis are two items that constantly degrade the SCI's body. In my case my two legs have had different levels of recovery. My left leg is riddled with bone and muscle loss while my right leg has had significantly improvement post injury. I have been told after nuclear bone scans that if I break another bone in my body it will probably be between my left knee and ankle due to significant bone density loss. My left calf muscle has the tone of a wet noodle that has soaked for DAYS.

    I had a significant bike crash a few years ago (5+ years post SCI) and there was no broken bones. My left knee was so banged up it finally swelled to something huge and the doctors were more impressed that as a SCI I could come in to the ER on crutches and leave the ER on crutches.

    Weigh the cost and benefits of a bone scan carefully. It could give you a base line to tell you what the level of bone density you have post SCI and serve as a bench mark. In the event you would rather spend the money on a 6 pack of beer and have at least one night to forget your chair then that is an option as well.

  7. #7

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    55, you make me laugh and TomRL, I'm sure you are laughing with us. I couldn't agree more especially with the job security.

    hlh, there may be/have been some benifit for your dad at age 65 but the big difference is being inactive 4 years to over 40. It has turned out to be a beautiful day and I'm on my way out to get some vitamin D.

    As you know, you guys have done a great job of taking care of yourself. I trust you! Nothing is better then getting outside....

    I'm just trying to let you know that even in folks without SCI, you likely have more bone loss due to age related changes, regardless of your SCI. These changes might be slowed, or even improved upon. Optimizing calcium/vitamin D is easy to do, yet even most women don't do this. Only recently docs are realizing that men need it too.

    My father was also testosterone deficient for likely 40 years due to a childhood infection, that was not supplemented properly.

    I guess I'm also not quite as cynical as you guys are about docs. At least not about the docs we see. They are penny pinching every study they order for us. Of course... we're on Medicare. They probably lose money on my Dad when they order a DEXA scan for him.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    He will be able to confirm what you already know about your highly fragile bones and have information that will enable him to recommend treatments that will not work. Most importantly, it will help to keep $ coming to the medical community.
    You're going to have to help me wipe the coffee off my computer screen now!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    in my 65 year old body at 42 years post SCI? Doc says it is normal to have one done sometime between age 65-70. He is not a SCI doc.
    Consider yourself lucky....we old ladies start falling apart at 40 and the poking and prodding begins LOL

    Just kidding, of course. I think they are learning more and more about bone loss. It is not just a woman's disease anymore.

    Of course, because of SCI, I had my first dexascan at 30 so its a good thing to do.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  10. #10
    They couldn't get me on the table, so only checked my right arm. Then they called me to come in quickly because I had a fracture in my vertebra. It was amazing to me how they could see that in my right arm!

    This is why it is hard to trust.

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