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Old 04-21-2006, 07:03 PM
hucky hucky is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 151
Default ADR and Ostoporosis and Osteoarthritis later in life?

I have been extremely keen on having a cervical ADR after August.

I know that ADR is not recommended for people with Osteoporosis or Osteoarthritis - my question is

How would an artificial disc behave should you develop either of these conditions in ten, twenty years?

Would they shift and then cause BIG problems? Has anyone asked their NS or Ortho?

I don't have either of these conditions at the moment, but my mother suffered from Osteoarthritis. Would you have to take calcium supplements for the rest of your life to help prevent this?

If this question has already been addressed on the forum Alistair, would you please point me in the right direction

Thankyou in advance

MVA April 2003
Xray shows bulge on C6/7 and L5/S1 - put down to my natural aging.
CT shows bulge
Treated for whiplash, PT, Accupuncture, Massage symptoms predominatly on left hand side. No relief.
Aug 04 C6/7 ruptures. MRI shows no deteriorat
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Old 04-22-2006, 01:28 AM
Fortitudine Fortitudine is offline
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Posts: 370

I'm guessing that it shouldn't make that much difference for osteoarthritis. Technically OA affects only the facet joints, not the vertebrae and discs, although sometimes you will find them all lumped together as arthritis. If anything, restoring normal height and motion to a spinal segment should prevent or delay any onset of OA. Calcium is not for OA, it's for osteoporosis.

As for osteoporosis, that's a good question. It is suggested here in Canada that women get a bone density scan every couple of years, and if there are any concerns, we are usually invited first to take calcium supplements, and if that doesn't help, to take a prescription med like Forteo or Fosamax, and yes, it is for the rest of our lives.
Cervie trying to avoid 3-level fusion
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:37 AM
Posts: n/a

Hi Hucky,

I don't know anything about oseteoarthritis and ADR, but from what I understand, osteoporis and osteopenia are concerns when thinking about ADR, in the long and short term.

Radiolucent/demineralized bone (osteopenia)and reduction of bone mass without alteration in the composition of bone (osteoporosis) are likely to cause subsidence (the sinking of the prothesis into the endplates) either immediately after surgery or later on.

Dr B asks for a bone density test pre-ADR, and there's a special coating (I think it's commonly referred to as bone cement, at least that's the French translation) that can be 'painted' on weakened or at risk bone prior to implantation of the device, in order to try and prevent subsidence.

I don't know what the limits of this technique are, or at what point a doctor would say 'no way, your bone quality is just not good enough to take an ADR'

Women in particular are at risk of bone density loss after menopause, as the hormones that somewhat protect against it are in lesser quantity, so what happens to bone after menopause in each individual woman is also an unknown, and part of the 'ADR crapshoot'.

Hope, from what age are you advised to have that scan???

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Old 04-22-2006, 11:32 AM
andromeda1111 andromeda1111 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 313

"Would you have to take calcium tablets the rest of your life to prevent this"?

Calcium is an essential mineral that the body needs period and it should be taken, not only for the obvious reasons but others. Did you know that calcium is responsible for regulating the heartbeat, blood clotting, promotes storage and release of some hormones, treats calcium depletion in people with hypoparathyroidism and a variety of other things.
Charite @ L5,S1. W/Zeegers
March 11, 05. Successful.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:28 AM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Posts: 6,909

Hucky, your suspicions are correct; this topic has been approached from different perspectives here. Do the search through all forums and skim through the topics.

I think its important to remember that supplements are are what they are a dietary supplement. When bones are so soft that an ADR or fusion is risky, other more complicated system conditions may be the cause. To Laura's point, our bodies metabolic processes are complex. E.g.:

There are a number of contributing factors for osteoporosis, including heredity, the amount of peak bone mass acquired during youth, and factors that contribute to an increased breakdown of bone and/or a decrease in the formation of new bone. Hyperthyroidism is associated with an increased excretion of calcium and phosphorous in the urine and stool, which results in a loss of bone mineral. This loss is documented by the measurement of bone density (densitometry) and leads to an increased risk of broken bones (fractures). If the hyperthyroidism is treated early, bone loss can be minimized. In the same manner, excessive amounts of thyroid hormone replacement medication can also result in bone loss.

There's also more info from this web site on osteoporosis here:

But back to your question. Hopefully, your PCP will be looking closely at your blood lab results annually, so he/she should be able to monitor your overall health to manage your metabolic functions, right? As long as you do regular weight bearing exercise and eat healthy you'll maximize your chances of happy, long-term health!

Just my two cents.
"Harrison" - info (at)
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
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