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Topic: Help...Broken Bone Not Healing (on Arimidex and Prolia)

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss —

Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: May 26, 2014 10:46AM

eb1965 wrote:

I was diagnosed with bc almost 5 years ago at age 43 and was treated with surgery, chemo and rads. I have been on Arimidex for over 4 years. After chemo and rads and at the start of Arimidex, my bone density showed I had osteopenia. Two years into Arimidex, my next bone density showed I had developed osteoporosis. My onc started me on Prolia. After one year on Prolia, my next bone density showed I had improved back to where I was with osteopenia. I have now been on Prolia for a little over 1 1/2 years.

All was good with my bones until this past December when I broke my toe. According to my orthopedist, it would take 4-6 weeks to heal. Well, it has now been over 5 months and it is still broken! My onc and orthopedist are both surprised it is taking so long to heal.

As prescribed by my orthopedist, I have been using an ultrasonic bone stimulator for 20 minutes a day for the past two months, and there has only been a very slight build up of bone at the fracture site. At this rate, it will take a year or more to heal. Bottom line...my body is not producing new bone. Not sure what to blame: chemo, Arimidex, Prolia, all of them.

I am typically a very active 48 year old...lots of walking, taking exercise classes at the gym, etc. and now I have to use a motorized scooter just to get around Costco! This is getting very old. Anyone have any similar experiences or ideas? (I'm also posting this in the Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After forum.)

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May 26, 2014 01:51PM Momine wrote:

Ugh! First of all, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I am osteopenic and my onc is itching to give me prolia. Is there any way you can find an osteoporosis expert?

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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May 26, 2014 07:19PM edwards750 wrote:

I can relate to your story. I was DX 3 1/2 years ago and already had osteopenia. One year later after being on Arimidex I had osteoporosis. Despite taking an additional drug for bone issues my numbers weren't getting better so my ONC switched me to Tamoxifen. My first bone density test already showed remarkable improvement. Arimidex attacks the bones so I probably should not have been on it to begin with. I exercise too but didn't seem to matter. Now it does. That is a long time to heal. Tamoxifen is no fun but def necessary for prevention. 

Diane 

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May 31, 2014 04:30PM - edited May 31, 2014 04:32PM by DivineMrsM

I'm just throwing a few things out there because I came across your post.  A few years ago, a woman I know (who did not have bc) had a fracture in her leg that was not healing.  Her doctor told her to stop drinking soda pop because it was sucking all the nutrients out of her body (sort of paraphrasing what he said).  She did drink a lot of it; if you drink it, consider switching it out for water.  Also, some of us gals take Vitamin D supplements as well as calcium as they seems to help the bones as well.

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets------------- Chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex------------- March2019/Ibrance-Aromasin---------- Sept2019/Verzenio-Aromasin
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Jun 14, 2014 08:50PM peggy_j wrote:

Good suggestion Divine. When I saw my fancy bone endocrinologist, his intake form included a lengthy questionnaire of my food and drink, and there are definitely things we consume that are bad for our bones. A lot of caffeine is one. I think the phosphorous in soda is bad too. 

eb1965, have your docs run any blood tests, such as your vit D level? They should also make sure there are no other issues going on, like thyroid issues etc. (when I asked my endo to run blood tests for everything he even included a test that I think was related to gluten intolerance).  I'm not sure where you live, but sometimes the academic hospitals have endocrinologists who specialize in osteoporosis, so if you want a second opinion it might be worth it to have a consultation. I had one with the former head of an osteoporosis clinic. It was 1.5 hr drive each way but a one-time appointment (and he answered follow up questions via email).

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 16, 2014 11:29AM conniehar wrote:

Thanks for this post.  I am sorry that you are going through this with your toe!  You are too young to have to deal with this!

I was dx'd at 39, suregery, chemo, rads, Tamox for 5 years and now on Femara.  My density had declined over the past 4 years and I now have osteoporosis at age 46!   Tried Actonel but it gave me unbearable side effects.  Dr is now considering Reclast, Prolia or Forteo.

Vit D level is 46 and other tests are good except my urine calcium was high.  I don't drink a ton of soda but I do usually have one Diet Coke a day (some days none).  I drink caffeine free but have trouble giving it up as I just love the cola taste.  I wonder if one a day is too much?

Best of luck to you in your healing process.  I hope someone can figure out what is going on with your toe!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 18, 2014 06:31PM - edited Jun 18, 2014 06:35PM by Kathy044

Hi eb I thought I would add one more bit if information about bone healing that I heard from an associate doctor at the cast clinic when I broke my wrist (Colles fracture?) a year and a half ago. Because inflammation at the break is naturally required to make collegen to build bone it follows that using an anti inflammatory drug as a pain medication might be contra indicated.  

When I checked into this on google I found out the idea was speculative at best but still switched over to using acetaminophen just in case. The fracture was on the arm on my cancer side so I had  swelling due to Lymphedema  and so the break was quite painful. I can say the pain was in part due the LE cause  last Aug I broke the other wrist and though it was VERY discouraging to have this happen it was not nearly as bad. 

Brief bone history: finished chemo and rads and atarted on hormone therapy (Arimidex) 4 years ago. Had bone density test at same time showing osteoporosis in the spine and started on an older bisphosphate (Etidrondate) in order to be able to keep on hormone therapy. I couldn't take Fosomax etc. as I cannot swallow pills whole. Recast was suggested but my extended insurance cap had been reached for the year  (neupogen shots) so I would need to cover the whole cost and in any case the side effect list scared me.

Second dexxa two years ago showed a slight improvement in all areas but as the test was taken on a new machine and the change could be due to normal testing error bone density was considered 'stable'

After the wrist fracture I became eligible to take Prolia and had the first two injections in Jan and July 2013. I delayed the scheduled injection in Jan this year due to serous dental concerns. Turned out it was just a failed root canal and not jaw necrosis and with great care and followup I had the tooth extracted. A month ago I had a third Prolia injection.

A week and a half ago I had another bone density test and am waiting for the results. I stopped taking my anastrozole at the four year mark due both bone and other reasons but depending on the dexxa results might change my mind back again. (since stopping the pill I have been eating and sleeping like crazy and have started gaining a few pounds.  My weight up until now has been stable for the past four years)

Kathy

Dx 2009, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/15/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/1/2010 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/3/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 21, 2014 07:59AM Momine wrote:

Kathy, please do report back about your most recent DEXA result. When they measured you as having osteoporosis, how bad was it? 

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 23, 2014 04:09AM - edited Jul 12, 2014 04:56PM by Kathy044

Hi Momine, I'm still waiting to get the DEXA result, should be any time though.

[edited to add:  It took over four weeks but I have the recent DEXA results now and have added the T -scores at the end below. The report stated the interval results from this last test are not significant ( ie. within the margin of error of measurement) so guess I have to take that into account when reading the 'low bone density' result instead of osteoporosis. Also my fracture risk in the next 10 years dropped from >20% to >10%. So much for statistics. ]

I should have mentioned in my last message that when I was diagnosed four years ago I was 66yo and more than 10 years post menopause so the findings were not all that unusual, also I involuntarily lost about 25 lbs during chemo (fec-d) and that certainly wouldn't have helped the bones any, so all in all the results were not really bad. Here are my earlier DEXA results

May 2010   T-score

Spine L 1-4    -2.9

Total hip   -1.8

Femoral neck   -2.2

June 2012  T-score (different machine)

Spine L 1-3    -2.7

Total hip   -1.5

Femoral neck   -1.9

New results:

June 2014.  T-score

Spine L1-4   -2.4

 Total femur. -1.4

Femoral neck  -1.8

Kathy

     

Dx 2009, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/15/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/1/2010 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/3/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 10, 2018 06:35AM AleciaS1 wrote:

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago. I went through chemo and radiation. I started exercising and broke my femur. No one was concerned until I broke the other femur. The bone density scan, that was finally done, showed osteopenia. I was given Reclast. It did nothing to help. It did make my hair fall out. The doctors thought parathyroid. One doctor figured out that my bone was not holding the calcium and phosphorous. I have a chronic pelvic fracture and broken one other bone. I walked with crutches for over a year. Finally with a lot of vitamins and meds, it started getting better. Now, my bones are starting to hurt again. I am not sure what is the cause besides the chemo drugs.

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