Fragility Fractures.

by J Walton
(Wakefield, United Kingdom)

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I am female, aged 63 and am 6'1" tall. I eat well,(sometimes too well) I drink probably the equivalent of half a bottle of gin per week. I have osteo-arthritis, which has led to 2 new shoulders and a total knee replacement, am now putting the replacement of the second one on hold. I fractured my right wrist as a child (7) - it was a greenstick fracture.

Nothing happened fractured bone wise until 2 years ago, when I fell down 4 steps while reading a book and saying, "you should never read a book on the stairs"... Result? Fractured styloid process - most unusual, not a nice sensible Colles fracture.

This year, after having a nice new knee fitted - working wonderfully after 5 weeks, I fell over my rise and recline chair leg extension. I know now to put the damn thing down each time I get off it. I fell awkwardly and fractured my right inferior pubic ramus. I was about to be sent to the geriatric ward - because it is an old person's fracture - they sent me to the diabetic ward when I kicked up a fuss. I am over 60 but definitely not in my dotage.

Nothing could be done I was told, it's a very painful fracture, I was told but nothing could be done apart from manage the pain. I couldn't be sent home - husband was in a different hospital.

I cannot begin to describe just how painful this fracture is and if it is the case that this is an old person's fracture, may the good lord help them. I was able to take charge of my own physical care - washing/showering, toileting etc.I was also able to manage my daily care but the pain was never managed successfully. Morphine is horrid and I chucked the codeine in the bin on coming home, some of the nurses gave me one level of codeine, others half this amount. Bed exercises and physio a couple of times per week. I came home 5 weeks after the fall and I eventually got back to work on a phased return over 10 weeks later. Still not 100%, the muscles are taking forever to mend.
I was sent for a Dexa scan and the results are in, though I don't know them yet. I would bet it is osteoporosis having been diagnosed with osteopenia 10 years ago (nothing was done or said to me at this time other than eat more cheese). Wonder what I will be told this time.. watch this space.

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