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How to Help Bone Growth?

Mindymork62MMindymork62 Posts: 207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Are there any ways to help bone growth before you get a fusion and will have bone graft, etc...? Especially if you have Osteopenia? I'm 59 years young and I am taking a Osteoporosis medicine, and have recently started drinking a glass of milk a day (never usually drink milk), and I take Calcium plus D. My surgery is June 29th.


  • Gosh...I wish I had the magic answer.
    From what I've heard there are some things that "hurt" bone growth including smoking and ibuprofin. I think after your surgery, they will make sure you know not to do either of these.

    Maybe also ask about bone stimulator for after surgery. I thought I read somewhere that they can help in the earlier phases of recovery.

    The only other thing I know of (being a female, not a doctor) is that dark green veggies like Spinach and Brocoli are good for you as are yogurt, milk (skim is healthier), and cottage cheese.

    Have you talked to your doctor to be sure you are doing everything you can to help?
  • Weight-bearing exercise helps as well. Mindy, do you have a family history of osteoporosis? Not just in female relations, it affects men too. I think that's a common mistake people make, along with thinking everyone with osteoporosis is very thin. I'm glad your doctor is being proactive about treating you now rather than waiting, as medications have been shown to help restore some bone mass.

    Otherwise, I think what you're doing is good, and Dnice hit the nail on the head -- make sure you're getting sufficient dietary sources of calcium every day. :)
  • Mindy,

    If you are taking FOSAMAX as your Osteoporosis medicine (or something similar) please do some research on the internet about its effect on spinal fusion. It does not sound logical, but apparently it inhibits fusion. My OS did not know that but when I called this to his attention he looked into it and advised me to stop taking it about 3 weeks before my surgery and don't start until fusion is well on its way (for me it was about 6 months later). My GP also said the same thing. So find all the info on the web, including this forum (old threads) and then ask your doctor.
  • Just curious where you found that information...I am very interested in your findings.

  • I just googled 'Fosamax inhibits fusion' and got lots of information indicating it to be true.
    What a surprise, not what you would expect.

    I saw my surgeon today, and the x-rays didn't show any fusion at all! He said it was too early, but a month ago he had said we would be looking for fusion.
    I did know that there might not be any.
    At least the screws and cage were all still in the right place.

    I have a book on healing and things you can do to aid it. I just need to remember who I have lent it to!
  • very sorry jellyhall, that you didnt get the news you were hoping for.
    all you can keep doing is taking it easy and wait on your body to do the work for you.
    its still early yet so give it time.

    My Best to you
  • I'm sorry that you are not seeing fusion yet. I've seen some mixed reviews on determining fusion on xray also. Some of the research says that CT scan might be better; just more expensive. You are still early yet..I hope your next xray is more promising.

    Thanks for finding those websites for me and every menopausal woman. I took one dose of actonel on friday...but I swear, that is the last one I'm taking. Once I get over this fever, nausea and ears ringing, I'm going to just eat high quality organic foods and supplements...and my bone stimulator.
    Even if the medications do help, I feel so bad that I'm not able to be outdoors and walk.

    Tomorrow its broccoli and spinach for me...you too, Jelly :-)

  • I may have come across that info on this forum. It has been over two years, so i don't remember. When I asked my OS, he at first was unsure, then next day he came back with a lot of new info (looks like he did his homework). My PCP knew about it right away, and both had somewhat different opinions how long before surgery and how long after should I be off FOSAMAX, as did most articles I found on the subject. So I went with the most conservative approach, 3 weeks before surgery and about 6 months after.
  • for your post. I really appreciate it!!

  • i can not stress enough, For males.... During recovery from a fusion if you are able to have your doctor put you on HRT, Hormone replacement Therapy, you will be doing yourself a favor.

    Testosterone has been shown to not only Facilitate healing times, but also to create more dense bone mass. For females, no doctor would ever give this to you because of possible sides... so you may have to seek other routes. For men, more then likely especially if you have been on pain meds your Test level will be very low when tested and a doctor should have no problem prescribing for you. Once healed you can come off, or you may like the results you get from being on and stay on. Besides the bad Wrap media likes to give testosterone, their have been studies that show you have a better chance of dying in a plane wreck, then using testosterone in mild to even high doses. besides bone growth/healing, it will help tighten your skin, loose fat mass, restore sex drive, and firm up your muscles.

    Women have recieved estrogen for years for menopause, well its about time doctors realize us men go thru, as I call it, MANOpause.

    Best of Luck!!!
  • Think I can get a prescription for my husband?? With results like that we should all(ladies) be ordering it for our men!!

    Sorry had to get that chuckle out.
  • i am 12 weeks post-op a 2 level fusion.
    i'm 54 y/o (dont tell anyone)lol,been reading your posts and you sound extremely knowledgable with this field.
    so what would your recommendations be that i should ask my neuro for when i see him on 6/16
    i would be very interested in giving it a try.
    thanks for your input.
    my best to you
  • Hey blazer... no your nuero can't give it to you. You have to go see a HRT doctor. I am sure if you do a google search you can find one in your area, or ask your family doctor to refer you to one. they will look for 2 things

    1)Luteinizing hormone - basicly says how effective your body is at converting to a usable source

    2)free test- will tell how much free testosterone is in the blood

    if you fall on the low side, the doctor will by law be allowed to prescribe you amounts that will bring you up to the high side of normal. Blood work then has to be taken like every 90 days to conform to goverment regulations, so they know they are not "over dosing" you. over dose, not bad thing, just more testosterone then falls into parameters of "NORMAL" for big brother.

    the reason I know so much? i used to competitive bodybuild for 15 years. Now I always stayed natural because I competed in natural shows, but my buddys did not. some recieved from doctors but stayed in normal range... others got it themselves and took 10x the ammount any doctor would give you. The media will have you thinking it will kill you just by looking on it. A doctor might prescribe 300-400mg's a week... some of my buddies where on 2000mgs a week, plus a slew of other things. NOT ONE TO THIS DAY, EVEN 15 years later have been sick or ill or anything caused related to this. This is why testosterone replacement aka HRT, is a growing trend among doctors and older men.

    for fusions... also load of up vitamins, extra b-vitamins for energy conversion, and up to 5g of vitamin C a day to prevent catabolism.

    for our backs doctors also like to give us PREDNISONE to bring down inflamation, some less knowledgeable peope think "wow prednisone is a steroid"... the problem? prednisone is a CATABOLIC steroid, not anabolic.... yes their are 2 kinds.

    Catabolic-break muscle down, prevent inflamation
    Anabolic- increase protein synthesis, store
    extra water in our joints.

    I hope this has helped a bit!!!!!

    p.s. I would go the doctor route, as without a script our great congress has placed test in a schedule III controlled class. Same penalties as heroine. Every 7CC qualifies you for one felony...get the script!!! I guess you have a slew guys with low test gonna go out and kills someone for it, huh?
  • thank you much, yes it did help
    i will do a search for a doctor locally and go see him/her for testerone test. thanks again.
    yes you do look like a bodybuilder but those days are probably behind you now with your fusion.
    i have 2 cousins that were/are bodybuilders will probably see them later this month at our annual family picnic, talk to them also on the subject.
    thanks and my best
  • yea I have not competed in over 3 years. In my avatar I am about 235lbs and my bodyfat is about 9%(to fat for my liking). The days I was competing, I was on stage at 248 and 3% bodyfat.

    so because of this damn back thing the past 2 years. i have probably lost about 20-25lbs of muscle, and put on 10-15lbs of fat. so while the scale may only show I lost about 10lbs. I got much softer.

    I have helped a ton of people in my area with their contest supplementation...and in doing so, have made myself a pretty good chemist. I had thought about comming out with my own supplement line with my own combonations... but theese big corporations that have JUNK products but the money to buy the athletes to tell everyone "this is what I take"..have ruined the supplement market. This market is not regulated by the FDA. So you could have a manufacturer claim he has 500mg glucosomine in their product, and really have less then 1mg. its just hard to sell products to a relativly uninformed market, and supplements that truly do work, get a bad wrap because of underdosing.
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