Bone problems?

Hi girls

Had lump/mastec/rads/chemo/ovaries removed and am now on Arimidex and calcium supplements. A few weeks ago I came back from a short holiday in New York only to fall whilst I was about to walk my dogs. I had a bad break on my right wrist which ended up with an operation and a 3 day stay in hospital. They said that this fracture is usually had with people who had osteoporosis (I am 49 years old) and I wondered if anyone could tell me how quick they recovered from the break.) I have just got a new job and hope to start in February?

Hi, Did you have a DEXA scan when you started Arimidex? If not, definitely worth asking for one to check the state of your bones - either from your oncology lot or from the fracture clinic you’re at.

I fell and broke my wrist in April - difficult to say how long it took to heal because I broke the elbow on the other side at the same time. It was about five weeks before I had the plaster off and started physio on the wrist, as I remember - but I couldn’t drive anyway, because of the elbow, so I didn’t get up and running for quite a while. My wrist has taken a lot of time to get back and still doesn’t have the strength it did before, but it may have been a different kind of break - I had a long plate put in.

I’d had a DEXA before I fell (started Arimidex in February) and it showed that I was very slightly osteopenic, and not osteoporotic. So for me it was just bad luck about having such bad breaks.
You may also have been warned about trying to keep your arm slightly raised to reduce the risk of lymphoedema while your arm is immobilised - may depend how much plaster you have on, I was wrapped from the palm to the elbow.

Good luck with the new job, and I hope the wrist heals quickly and well!

Hi Lyndu

Thanks for the reply. I have had 2 x DEXA scans and I went from osteopenic to having osteophoris in about 12 months after I had had my ovaries out, my intention was to get my oestrogen levels down and I certainly have achieved that!! I had 3 fractures in my wrist and it was also displaced. I am plastered from my wrist up to my elbow. I am starting to use it more now but I have been using the other arm and I am starting to feel it becoming a little heavy and I am worried about lymphoedema, they have never mentioned to me how to minimise the risk can you give me some more info?


Hi there

Have a look at the Lymphoedema thread - there is some great stuff on there from Fizbix called My lymphoedema training - in three parts I seem to remember

I have my next infusion of zometa on Tuesday which is meant to help strengthen the bones so fingers crossed.

Good luck!


hi Lancs lass, You haven’t mentioned whether the break is on the same side as you mastectomy or not. If it is not then you should be OK. Also are you on any medication to strengthen the bones at all and stop them from weakening further. You need to keep your arm elevated as much as possible to prevent swelling, and rest it on a pillow at night.
take care, hope you get plaster off soon x

Flo12 is right - I was told to keep it a bit elevated if I was sitting still - ie to have the elbow about level with my bust, and forearm and hand level with the elbow or a bit higher than that, so gravity isn’t helping to drain down into your arm.
So while I was plastered I tended to have a fat cushion on my lap to support my elbow when sat down, and I also rigged up a system with foam blocks at night to support my hand and forearm a bit above body level. There’s not much in the way of exercise you can do, though my bcn helpfully suggested I keep waggling my fingers to at least keep some circulation going. Also the surgeon suggested not using the sling around the house if possible so the arm did move about a bit from the shoulder, so I only used a sling when out walking.

Touch wood, that all seems to have worked - my forearm and hand does sometimes feel a bit puffy, but it’s difficult to tell if it’s very mild ld or just the aftereffects of the break - my wrist is definitely thicker. My break sounds pretty much like yours, and I was warned I’d continue to have some problems with the wrist joint, and I have.
If it’s your non-mastectomy side that’s broken, I’d say just make sure you don’t overwork that arm by making it do more heavy lifting and so on than you would have done before.