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Osteoporosis and skiing

TrixieRuby

Certified Ski Diva
For those of us who are older, what is the state of your bones? A recent scan at the age of 69 showed my bones to be a mix of normal, osteoporosis, and osteopenia. I have no intention of slowing down my skiing, but I already skip the moguls and the black diamonds and the trees at this point in my life.

I am probably about to start on meds, fosamax, but I am not sure...what are your thoughts about protecting bones, fracture risks, medications, etc for those of us who love the snow???:ski2:
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Boniva once a month. And I don't skip the moguls and black diamonds or trees. But I'm definitely aware of my bone issues so pretty careful.
 
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lehrski

Diva in Training
I'm younger (52) but I have osteopenia/osteoporosis due to longterm cancer treatment. I'm on xgeva that is supposed to both strengthen my bones and kick the cancer out of my bones.

I love the trees/moguls/powder so I continue to ski them. I'm cautious about high speed on groomers and try to ski when it's less crowded. I have broken bones several times, but the joy of skiing is worth it. And the exercise probably helps. I also lift weights and work on balance with a trainer at the gym.

Ironically, I broke my foot last summer tripping in my friend's pantry AFTER rock climbing safely.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Exactly! High speed on groomers can do far more damage!
Thx for sharing your story!
 

edelweissmaedl

Angel Diva
If you have the luxury consider getting an alternate scan that shows your fracture risk. You can have low bone density, but still have a low risk of fracture (or high bone density, but higher risk of fracture) because bone architecture is the other part of the equation. Luckily so far I rank low fracture risk even though my density could be better. Echolight/REMS are the key words when looking for that.

What I also learned is that your muscles are what tell your bones what to do. ie. even if you go on meds, if you aren't working your muscles the medicine can only do so much. Vitamin D is also important. I will be doing another blood test soon to see if I have gotten my Vitamin D up into the range my doc wants for me. Staying active safely is key.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am 55 with severe osteopenia, liekly.from life long steroid use for asthma.

Never thought too much of it until I had a fairly mild fall on ice onto my hip at slow speed on a blue run last winter. The head of the femur must have been pushed quite hard into my pelvis as I cracked one bone on each side in the front as well as my sacrum.

Most ski area fatalities are single skier accidents on blue groomed runs. I will continue with all the types of skiing I love, but am keenly aware of slowing down when tempted to carve on icy blues.

I take fairly intensive HIIT and weight training classes and have a date with an endocrinologist at a university hospital this summer.

A history of stomach bleeds makes me a fairly poor candidate for most osteoporosis meds. Eager to learn more from the doc.
 

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
Prolia injections, 2x/year, rather expensive even with insurance. Had been on it some years prior, was taken off, numbers crashed. Numbers partially due to being severely underweight 20+ lbs for a few years. Yes, Virginia, you "can" be "too thin." (wasn't intentional) Prolia, once started, is for life, per new PCP.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Prolia injections, 2x/year, rather expensive even with insurance. Had been on it some years prior, was taken off, numbers crashed. Numbers partially due to being severely underweight 20+ lbs for a few years. Yes, Virginia, you "can" be "too thin." (wasn't intentional) Prolia, once started, is for life, per new PCP.
Heard same thing from my PCP.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I'm 60 and have low density bones (no osteo yet) but can't take Fosomax as my Mother had a really bad reaction to it so along with a monthly Vit D capsule my Dr put me on HRT which fingers crossed will help. I have no intention of giving up skiing blacks etc .... yet !
 

skibum4ever

Angel Diva

NYCSkier

Diva in Training
I have osteopenia, and was bordering on osteoporosis on one hip per a bone density scan done two years ago. After reviewing the scan and discussing at length all the options with my doctor (a rheumatologist/endocrinologist specializing in bone density issues at Weill Cornell in NYC), we decided that the Reclast intravenous treatment was the way to go for me. Reclast involves an infusion once a year. I just had my second annual infusion. Unlike Prolia, I was advised by my doctor that you don’t need to stay on Reclast long term in order to maintain any bone building benefits. My doctor and I decided I would try Reclast infusions for two consecutive years and then have another bone density scan done to determine any benefits. There are quite a lot of options out there to address low bone density, with varying degrees of potential benefits as well as potential side effects. So I would really encourage anyone with bone density issues or concerns to go to a doctor who specializes in this area.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
I have osteopenia, and was bordering on osteoporosis on one hip per a bone density scan done two years ago. After reviewing the scan and discussing at length all the options with my doctor (a rheumatologist/endocrinologist specializing in bone density issues at Weill Cornell in NYC), we decided that the Reclast intravenous treatment was the way to go for me. Reclast involves an infusion once a year. I just had my second annual infusion. Unlike Prolia, I was advised by my doctor that you don’t need to stay on Reclast long term in order to maintain any bone building benefits. My doctor and I decided I would try Reclast infusions for two consecutive years and then have another bone density scan done to determine any benefits. There are quite a lot of options out there to address low bone density, with varying degrees of potential benefits as well as potential side effects. So I would really encourage anyone with bone density issues or concerns to go to a doctor who specializes in this area.
Totally agree with this! I see an endocrinologist and we decided Boniva was best for me as we know the bisphosphonate drugs have worked in the past.
Both my PCP and endocrinologist agree on this.
 

ddskis

Certified Ski Diva
Started on romo aka evenity last summer for my severe spinal osteoporosis. Took a few tries to get insurance to cover, but my decrease to -4.5 from -3.9 was apparently pretty convincing. Monthly shots (actually 2 shots) for a year, then an updated dexa.
Hoping for a big boost in bone density, but also bummed that even w/a good boost I probably won’t make it close to the -2.5 osteoporosis range.
Skiing slower for sure, and defensively as well. Paying much more attention, which honestly kind of annoys me and interferes w/achieving flow. Midweek always. My doc says skiing ok but to pick my days carefully. Haven’t fractured anything in almost 5yrs now (knock on wood). Working on balance always. Genetics suck sometimes.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Soooo osteoporosis runs in my family... maternal gran and my mom had it, and I have bird bones and have had osteopenia since my 20s despite gymnastics. Anyhow, I'm REALLY reluctant to go on meds when I get diagnosed with osteoporosis (it's a when not if), b/c as I understand most meds give the illusion of bone density on scans while leaving you with dead, brittle bones that usually result in a more catastrophic break when they do give. Is that still true or have meds improved at building actual healthy bone?
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
most meds give the illusion of bone density on scans while leaving you with dead, brittle bones that usually result in a more catastrophic break when they do give.
This is what happened to my Mother, Fosomax completely destroyed her femurs on both legs with devastating consequences hence I will NEVER take it. I also have birdlike bones so the future isn't looking good for me but in the meantime I'll keep taking my HRT and Vit D and hope it holds Osteo at bay.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
This is what happened to my Mother, Fosomax completely destroyed her femurs on both legs with devastating consequences hence I will NEVER take it. I also have birdlike bones so the future isn't looking good for me but in the meantime I'll keep taking my HRT and Vit D and hope it holds Osteo at bay.
Yeah, my mom is 74 and has had multiple breaks already (wrists, arm, ribs, clavicle) from falls, but she's never had an immobilizing break like my gran had (Mom quit Fosamax a good bit ago b/c of studies). I've had more breaks at my age than my mom had, but all came from gymnastics or trying snowboading. Gymnastics breaks have all been big toes/thumbs. But I still feel the cloud of bad bones hanging over me. lol
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yeah, my mom is 74 and has had multiple breaks already (wrists, arm, ribs, clavicle) from falls, but she's never had an immobilizing break like my gran had (Mom quit Fosamax a good bit ago b/c of studies). I've had more breaks at my age than my mom had, but all came from gymnastics or trying snowboading. Gymnastics breaks have all been big toes/thumbs. But I still feel the cloud of bad bones hanging over me. lol
Luckily I've only had a couple of breaks throughout my lifetime, my wrist when I was horseriding as a child then the TPF and ankle 18months ago. Hopefully thats my quota !
I'll bet you feel that cloud hanging over you , it sounds like the cards are definitely stacked against you (again insert sad face)
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I don't count toes and fingers. :wink: They're "incidentals." Even if they do count... what am I gonna do... give up gymnastics? No, it's one of the best weight bearing exercises out there. It feels like a losing battle, but I'll stop when I lose everything I love most.

ETA: this is blasphemy but I love gymnastics more than skiing lol
 

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