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Ski-ing with osteopenia

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So, I broke my shoulder in Saalbach last year, after a collision with a snowboarder. Shoulder now fully recovered, but as part of my follow up I was given a bone density scan and diagnosed with osteopenia (ie not full osteoporosis but some loss of bone density which presumably makes me more liable to fractures -middle aged female rolling eyes ). Treatment just involves taking additional Vit D and ensuring I do weight bearing exercise.

Should I be worried about ski-ing? - I personally think last year was unlucky, and it was the impact of the snow board that did the damage to my shoulder rather than falling. I am usually a fairly cautious ski-er so not likely to be doing anything hairy, nor at speed, and I usually fall very rarely. I can see if I fell on hard packed piste/ice there could be a risk but on softer snow, not so much.

Any thoughts/experiences...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person

Treatment just involves taking additional Vit D and ensuring I do weight bearing exercise.

Skiing is classified as a weight bearing exercise.

So if you don't ski, you need to do more weight (or spend the same amount of time you would have skied in the gym). Toofy Grin
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My thoughts as somebody not medically trained, would be:

As I understand it, this is a mid stage between Healthy bone strength and Osteoporosis....and sensible measures can help it from turning into the full blown thing:

- Load Bearing Exercise
- Up the intake of Calcium
- Take on extra Vit D (including Sunlight, if possible)

My opinion is that you should continue skiing, but be sensible....which from the sound of it, will not be a problem. I suspect a significant number of people ski with it.

In a sense, you are lucky that you have been forewarned, so can take measures to stabilise it.

As always, be guided by those with medical training.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I too had a bone density scan which showed osteopenia this summer. I am sixty three. I ski 8 to 9 weeks a year and fully intend to continue. Reading about bone density I learned that approximately 50% of women over 50 (I think, maybe over 60, I can't quite recall) are estimated to be osteopenic. I am taking calcium, Vitamin D supplements, being conscious of doing more weights in the gym, but do not intend to stop doing anything. I declared it to my travel insurer (SkiClub of GB) and there was no premium loading. That in itself was re-assuring.

I had a very good radiologist who was a specialist in bone density. She gave me a lot of background information which I found helpful. I had never had a bone density scan before, so she said that establishing a base line was really the most important thing. There is a significant bone density loss in most women between 50 and 60. Being able to mark the change in density is as important as the reading itself. First of all, everyone loses bone density as they age, but people vary across the population as to the starting point. All of the measures are based on averages for any particular age group. I have very small bones (children's watch straps are too big for my wrists!) so she said I may have always been under the average for my age. People with small bones and who are fairly light (i weight 55kg) are often under the average throughout their lives. You won't know unless you have a scan. Having a scan at this age will establish a baseline to track changes as time goes on. It made me feel better about the whole thing. There are steps you can take in your 50's and 60's that will not be as effective in your 70's and 80's, so it's good to be aware while there is still time to conserve the density that you currently have before it becomes a real risk factor. I am quite pragmatic about it after initially being a bit disturbed by the whole thing. I recommend you read around the topic and learn about it as it helps to understand the wider context.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I broke my ankle in November 2018 and, as I was (just!) over 50 I was given the scan which showed osteopenia.

My consultant was happy for me to ski last March (I was discharged from outpatients about a week before we travelled!) and I'm off again in a few weeks time.

I was basically told to look on the osteopenia diagnosis as a warning to do all of the things mentioned above before it became osteoperosis.
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