Posted , 9 users are following.
Today I attended the hospital where I saw an osteoporosis consultant. I am 72 and had been told that I had low bone density in 1999 and in 2005 was diagnosed at high risk of spine fracture and lower risk of hip fracture. A month later I was started on Actonel and was on it for seven years then changed to Alendronic Acid for another three years, so ten years in total. I decided to stop it in 2012 as I had been on it a long time and was also getting aches in my thighs and muscle weakness where my leg would suddenly give way. Two years later, while still off the tablets, I slipped in the garden and broke my femur and had a femoral nail inserted and was put back onto AA for another three years. In September 2017 I stopped again as I was getting aches in my thighs and occasional muscle weakness like before and anyway, I had been on it for three years so decided I would have another "holiday".
As I said, I saw a consultant today who was concerned about the pains in my thighs as it could be a sign of a "rare" side affect of AA where it causes fractures of the femur called atypical thigh bone fractures. They occur after little or no force and in many cases there is a history of pain at the site of the fracture, in the thigh or groin for a few weeks or months prior to the break. He sent me for some x-rays and when I went back into his office he told me that there was a very small horizontal crack half way down my femur that he now knew was DEFINITELY caused by AA and I was NEVER to take them again. As if that's not bad enough, he's going to contact an orthopaedic surgeon to see whether I need a femoral nail put in my leg! I have problems with my bone marrow that has caused low red and white blood cells as well as low platelets which are responsible for blood clotting so it may not be an option. He said that atypical fractures are "rare", (it's something like 5 in 10,000) but he believes that there are people who have had atypical fractures that haven't been linked to AA at the time so not quite as rare as first thought. He showed me a picture of an atypical fracture and said that my fracture was exactly the same. There is an osteoporosis treatment that I could end up having, it's called parathyroid hormone treatment (teriparatide) and is given via a daily injection under the skin for a maximum of 24 months. As I have diabetes and inject myself four times a day this will be yet another injection! I am expecting a phone call off the doctor in a couple of days, after he has found out what the next step will be. I asked if I could do anything about it and he told me to keep taking the calcium and Vitamin D tablets and not to do anything like rock climbing or contact sports (just as if!!) and gentle walking rather than brisk walking as there's a chance I could break my femur with minimum force. (I read about a study done in South America about sudden femur fractures and 90% of the people were or had been on alendronic acid!)
Sorry this has been a long message but this is to warn people who have been on AA or other osteoporosis drugs like risedronate, ibandronate, zoledronic acid and denosumab for some time that if they start to get pains or aches in their thighs or groins that they shouldn't dismiss it but see their doctor. It's only mainly been reported with AA but this could be because it's the most common treatment. I hope this has been of some help to those who think taking AA is good for them, it isn't.
2 likes, 17 replies