Recently, the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research recommended that the FDA rewrite the labels for drugs called bisphosphonates, to warn doctors and their patients about the possibly of atypical femur (thigh bone) fractures, just below the hip-joint, with long-term use. Bisphosphonates are designed to increase bone mass in patients with osteopenia and osteoporosis, by blocking the natural cycle of bone breakdown by osteoclasts. In theory, the bone should then stay stronger. For years, opponents claim that the bone becomes brittle, and more prone to fracture. It now appears that they are correct. Talk to your doctor if you are taking Actonel, Boniva (hi Sally), or Fosomax.

Speaking of doctors, a client was told by her doctor that she would benefit by having a stent put in behind her left knee. She has had circulatory issues for several years, but not of the serious variety. Her doctor assured her that it was no big deal-she wanted to know what I thought. My first thought was that if it was something she could live with, then do just that. Too many unwanted things can happen with elective surgery. I also told her to seek a second opinion. I am amazed at how many people (about 50%) don’t seek second opinions. I had an occasion several years ago which prompted me to seek a second opinion-my doctor dismissed my concerns. He said everything was normal and probably caused by the fact I was turning 40. 40! I should thank him because now I always get a second. Another red flag; your doc recommends surgery. Anytime your doctor recommends elective surgery, get a second or even third opinion. Your body is not the same after surgery. Additionally, if you don’t have confidence in your doctor, or there may be other treatments available, are good reason to get another opinion.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.