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You might have it and not realise it

cluclu Posts: 89
edited October 2010 in Campaign
1st of May 2010, the day my life changed and a new challenge unknown to me at the time started. It all began with a steady bike ride from Bristol to Cheddar Gorge and back to Bristol with some hills in between. Unfortunately I didn't make it through Bristol and was knocked off my bike in Bristol by an Idiot driver turning left and cutting me up. My front wheel went left, my right brake lever scraped along the car, and over I toppled.

I hit the road quite hard on my right hip, and rolled around on the road in extreme pain and agony. A good samaritan driving a white van saw the accident, stopped and looked after me whilst I was on the ground and called for an ambulance. I've never seen him since and have never been able to say thank you to him. Anyhow the police arrived as well as the paramedics and I was carted off to hospital where to my disbelief I was told I'd broken my right hip. In A and E I thought I'd just entered the school of hard knocks and just had a bad hit with maybe some heavy bruising to follow later, they showed me the X-rays and It was confirmed a broken right hip.

An operation to put a pin and plate on my hip (I'm only 37 years old and not an OAP yet) was done late in the evening followed by a week being completely bored in a hospital ward, my right leg completely swelled up and it went very numb. That's it my bike riding days are over I thought.

During my stay in hospital I had countless visits from doctors who were a little perplexed as to why a healthy and fit 37 year old could break their hip so easily. Eventually I was released from hospital after being very well looked after during my stay. On crutches and in pain I managed to spend the next weeks/months trying to recover from the accident, I'm not still fully recovered yet but I am riding my bike again.

Anyway during one of the reviews of my injury with a consultant, he decided to arrange a dexa scan to check out the density of my bones. During my stay in hospital they'd mentioned lots of possible explanations as to why my hip had broken in the first place, among them soft bones, bone cancer, some conditions with some weird Latin names that I can't remember, etc...

When the results came in from the dexa scan, to my disbelief I was told I had Osteoporosis. I've been told my spine is the major problem area of my condition. I only ride bikes how can I have brittle bones, none of my family members have ever had this condition, so why have I got it. Then I remembered an article on this website.

I thought I'd done everything right, i.e. good diet (plenty of vegtables, fruit, reduce the cakes, biscuits, chocolate, etc...), excercise, no smoking, I don't drink alcohol, dring plenty of water/herbal teas/fruit juices etc... I've now been prescribed strong calcium and vitamin D supplements, which could be on going for quite a while. I've been advised to start doing some weights at the Gym or to start running again. I used to do triathlon racing but switched completely to only riding road bikes, so the running should be easy to get back into. The only problem is my hip still gives me pain and discomfort which I'm just having to cope with.

So to everyone who reads this, if you only ride on the road you need to seriously think about your bones and not just your heart and lungs. If you can, try and get your GP to arrange a dexa scan it might just Identify a condition you may not realise you might have. This condition was only discovered when I broke my right hip. Another dexa scan for myself has been arranged in 2 years time to provide an update, hopefully there will be an imporvement in my condition. I've been told the Osteoporosis can be reversed, so I live in hope.
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  • Stick8267Stick8267 Posts: 154
    Sorry to hear about your problems and hope it gets sorted.

    It is really odd for a man (or indeed woman) of your age to develop osteoporosis to such an extent it is causing pathological or low impact fractures. While it may be down to your exercise pattern I'd be surprised if that was the whole story. Presumably you are otherwise active and, as you say, have a good diet as well as getting out in the sun. If riding a bike was a significant risk factor imagien what all those couch potatoes must be like!!

    Have they done a full workup on you? Checked your hormone profile including sex hormones and assessed your gut absorption etc?

    If not I think you should ask them to. There may be an underlying issue they haven't identified.

    It's not my specialty area but I do practice medicine and the above comes from a very rapid search of relevant literature and expert opinion.

    Hopefully they have answered all the above and you are just unlucky and will imporve with supplements.
  • pbt150pbt150 Posts: 314
    Low bone density (which ultimately becomes osteoporosis) is actually remarkably common in cyclists, even if you're a healthy young male. Cycling is a very low intensity sport (unlike running etc.) so doesn't stimulate your body to lay down new bone tissue. When you combine this with the fact that you're burning calories and placing a higher than normal demand on your body's reserves of vitamins and minerals, you can lose a significant amount of mineral density, with the first symptom being brittle bones.

    I'd check your diet to make sure you're getting enough Calcium and vitamin D, and maybe introduce some other form of training into your regime to stimulate deposition of bone tissue. Good luck!
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