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Saturday, June 11, 2011


This is a late update but I do want to spread the word about this medication for osteoperosis and its side effects that affected my family.

BRAND NAME(S): Fosamax

My mom broke her right femur (thigh bone) in December last year. She didn't fall or anything. She was talking to my dad at home beside the bed and was leaning to her left. She moved to her right and maybe twisted her leg a bit or maybe moved her full weight on her right leg then she then heard a "crack" and fell to the floor.

My dad and I & E were there and I called my brother and his wife. My mom was in pure pain but her being a doctor, instructed my dad and I calmly find something to immobilize her upper leg.
By the time my brother and wife arrived, mom was lying on the floor with her leg in a makeshift splint. We called the ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital.
The doctor came to see her around lunch time the following day and looked at the Xrays and said it was most likely a metastasis of her breast cancer.

Actually mom, a breast cancer patient (2 years and counting), had been experiencing pain/weakness in her legs for a few months. A few weeks before this accident, her bone scan showed some suspicious areas in both her femurs. A subsequent MRI showed that they more likely were not cancer cells but the doctors could not rule it out. Her oncologist said that likely they were not cancer cells because they appeared in symmetrically in both femurs and in the exact same spot of each femur.

Anyway, we were also thinking that it might be because mom has been taking Fosamax for 10 years now. Recently, there have been more cases of strange fractures (hip, femur, etc.) for people who were taking Fosamax long term.

Mom's X-rays are below. The cut was very clean, no jagged edges. The doctor said they only see clean breaks like these if one was hit by a car.

Her operation was scheduled at 8pm that evening but was actually operated on at 10pm and then everything was done by 12am. She woke up at 3am and was wheeled to the room. Dad stayed with her in hospital that evening.

At any rate, when they did the operation last night, they put a pin and bone cement into the leg. They also did a biopsy of the bone area, but the doctor said after looking at it he has changed his mind and thinks that it is Fosamax, not Cancer. So that is the great news!

The doctor was so sure that it wasn't Fosamax before the operation because he reasoned that most of the Fosamax cases he's seen are fractures in a slightly higher area, than where mom's is. Now that he has changed his mind, he is now equally sure that it is not Cancer.

Anyway, we waited the official biopsy results which should be out in a week and the fracture is caused by long term Fosamax use until anything else changes.
Everyone was in good spirits after knowing this and everyone is in a good mental state.

Also, we will have to think of what to do with the left femur. The bone scan also showed the same suspicious area. The family is thinking that we should also put a pin and bone cement (and also get a biopsy). Otherwise, we will just be waiting for another fracture down the road, but we'll see what the options are. The doctor seems to think that if it is not cancer, there are other ways to strengthen the bone rather than operating to put a pin and cement. We'll see.

Please tell your family and friends to to stop taking Fosamax for more than 5 years. The side effects are pretty limited in writing but I know there are some here and the list seems to grow by the day.


Further updates...

Mom, with the support of the family, to have her left femur operated on to ensure no further fractures to happen. The doctor recommended this time to cement and pin the leg, unlike what was done on the right femur.

After much complaints from mom that she is still unstable when she walks up to now on her right side, mom also had her right femur operated on by replacing a thicker rod (cement) and place a pin on both top and bottom of the rod for added stability and balance.

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