Monday, May 9, 2011

Osteopenia and the Orthopedist

Yesterday Sammy fell off his bike, as normal kids do.  Unfortunately, this morning, Sammy was still unable to walk on his left foot so I took him to his pediatrician.  She felt the orthopedist was needed so we hiked (well I carried Sammy) over to Dr. W.  He was very nice and took a set of X-rays....Sammy was an old hand at this!

I was afraid of a break...the news was better than that in some ways, but worse for the long-term.  Sam's foot showed no breaks, but the Orthopedist explained he had quite sever signs of Osteopenia.

Osteopenia refers to bone mineral density (BMD) that is lower than normal peak BMD but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone mineral density is a measurement of the level of minerals in the bones, which indicates how dense and strong they are. If your BMD is low compared to normal peak BMD, you are said to have osteopenia. Having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that, as time passes, you may develop BMD that is very low compared to normal, known as osteoporosis.

Sam's foot was put in a cast as Dr. W. felt it needed protection and would most certainly have some fractures (albeit tiny) due to the osteopenia.  So Sammy chose the red cast and is now thoroughly miserable at the thought of being even more different.  No matter how many times I explained this kind of thing happens to ANY kid...he is too exasperated to take it in.  

I, being me, emailed Dr. C. at CHAM and got the okay for Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.  He also explained that this bone issue usually happens to older children on treatment, but can happen to children Sammy's age.  His words saddened me as he also explained the problem can correct itself, but over MANY years!   

Info on calcium:

Calcium in foods:
Milk (8 ounces) 300 mg
Yogurt (8 ounces) 400 mg
Cheese (1 ounce) 200 mg
Broccoli (1/2 cup) 47 mg
Pinto beans (1/2 cup) 40 mg

If your diet is low in calcium and you are unable to get the level up to 1200 to 1500 mg per day, then taking a calcium supplement pill is recommended. A wide variety of calcium supplements are available at the grocery or health food store. See the following web site for a discussion of calcium pills:

According to a Calcium Calculator, Sam get enough calcium in his diet:

7 times a week aglass, 200 mlMilk, semi-skimmed
7 times a week apot, 150 gYoghurt, low-fat, fruit
2 times a week aserving, 85 gBroccoli, boiled
1 times a week aserving, 90 gGreen / French beans
1 times a week aaverage serving, 75 gIce cream, dairy, vanilla
1 times a week aportion, 230 gPasta, plain, cooked
1 times a week aportion, 220 gMacaroni cheese
3 times a week a9" - 10" pizza, 410 gPizza, cheese & tomato

The medicine is obviously the culprit and we need to increase the 'normal' amounts quite considerably, including Vitamin D to boost calcium absorption.  
I am hoping my Superman beats the odds...he is becoming so good at that...and defeats cancer, osteopenia, and the worsening sadness he is feeling.  He will be in a stroller or wheelchair for a few weeks so we will see how things go. 


  1. Hi love, Thanks for stopping by and reading my latest blog. We are both dealing with disease here. I believe that unattached love is the answer for both of us. I wish I could make myself understood better so I could be of more help but I guess we all have to learn in our own way. Keep up the good fight and I'm sure we will come to a deeper understanding of eachother.

    love sue

  2. Oh man, I am so bummed out for you and your little guy. Sending healing thoughts your way. Hope his foot gets better sooner than you anticipate.

  3. Poor Sammy! That guy has to go through so much!

    It reminds me of my brother (the hemophiliac bleeder)...he was kind of an outcast- parents were afraid to let their kids play with him fearing that they may hurt him.

    Then half the time he was limping around from an ankle bleed, or be all bruised up from an arm bleed.

    Anyway, tell the little guy I'm praying for him and thanks for the card. That was very nice!


    The Blogging Buddies

  4. I remember as a kid wishing I had broken a bone like so many was COOL to have a cast and have all your friends sign it! As an adult I know how foolish that is now. Perhaps if you buy Sammy some colored sharpies he will enjoy some artistic attention from friends as they decorate his lil red cast, and share stories?!
    Somewhere there is good/positive in everything life throws our way.
    Hugs to you all,

  5. Thank you all. Suzzy, we will find our time.

    S...Can you believe it...yet another bump in the road!

    Carolee...I truly cannot imagine being a hemophiliac bleeder or a family member and worrying SO much all the time...I, at lest, have an end date for the major angst...then just watchful eye alert!

    Lisa...I never broke a bone and felt a little left out as a kid (and slightly relieved too). Sam's biggest grumble is not being able to play outside now the weather has finally improved. At least he should be done by the summer :)


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