Joint and Bone Concerns

Answers for your specific questions.

Wondering about your health? Confused by what you’ve read? Browse our Ask the Nurse answer archive to find answers to many women's health questions and concerns. All answers are from a Cleveland Clinic women's health nurse.

Ask the Nurse Archive

Getting Enough Calcium in your Diet when Lactose Intolerant

April 17, 2018 at 8:56am

I am age 62 and had triple negative breast cancer 11 years ago. I was treated aggressively, which put me into menopause instantly. I enjoyed eating yogurt and calcium rich foods until this past year when I developed a serious case of intolerance to dairy products - lactose intolerance.

I cannot seem to tolerate even lactose-free dairy. I know that I have osteopenia. What does a person like me do to get adequate calcium daily? I also am recovering from a total hip replacement that has slowed down my exercising for the past year. The only exercise that I can do is walk. How I can get enough calcium in my diet since I cannot tolerate any real dairy products?

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Osteoporosis Treatment After Knee Surgery

February 6, 2018 at 10:17am

I had knee replacement surgery a month ago. My surgeon was very concerned about my bones. He said they were very soft. I previously had primary hyperthyroidism and had surgery in June. How long after my total knee replacement surgery should I wait to start treatment for osteoporosis?

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Pain in Thumb Joints

November 21, 2016 at 2:16pm

I’m a 32 year old female in average shape. Over the past month or so, I’ve been doing more yard work like pulling weeds, planting, laying mulch, raking and trimming. In the evening, my thumbs having an internal burning sensation, and I experience pain in my lower thumb joints.

Sometimes my thumbs seem weak, and I have intermittent shaking. It’s significant enough that it can keep me awake at night and still ache in the morning. After a few days, it disappears. I’ve already had surgery on my right wrist for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. What could this be?

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Treatment for Osteoporosis

March 23, 2016 at 12:54pm

I was age 43 when I had total hysterectomy. I was unable to do hormone replacement therapy because of another issue.

A recent DEXA scan showed the lowest T-Score was -1.6, and they want me to start Fosamax. I already have a lot of pain from arthritis and degenerative disc disease. And the side effect of the Fosamax is joint pain. Is that T-Score a bad level and would any other drug beside the Bisphosphonates be helpful?

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Post-Hysterectomy Joint Pain

February 8, 2016 at 11:20am

I am four months post hysterectomy. I take a one-a-day vitamin for women daily.

Lately, when I wake, I cannot work normally until after awhile. I also hear some movements in my joints. Why is this? Do I need additional calcium with the vitamin?

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Hashimoto's Disease

November 25, 2015 at 2:14pm

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroid disorder. My labs show me ’in normal range.’ My endocrinologist did not recommend thyroid hormone replacement until necessary (she said it could be years), and my GP prescribed me the thyroid hormone and thought I’d start with half a pill and "see how I feel".

Most of my symptoms are hyperthyroid, and my latest labs from one month ago show me ’slightly hyper.’ I am not taking hormones as of yet, as I’m worried they will make me MORE hyper. I am on propranolol to assist with high blood pressure that literally occurred overnight after years of no issues.

Meanwhile, I feel my body is simply deteriorating. The last 4-5 months I’ve had cracking of bones, a feeling of my connective tissue being compromised, and most recently a pretty bad case of psoriasis that itches and nail-pitting. I feel like my body is deteriorating, quite frankly and I’m not sure if this is Hashimoto’s OR something else going on?

If it is Hashimoto’s, would starting thyroid HELP with some of the tissue/bone sensations? Frankly, my endocrinologist even told me to just keep my management to my GP and check in with them once per year.

My second question, my psoriasis has been under treatment for 2 weeks now with no improvement and my doctor says to just stay the course. It itches so much and feel/looks like hives - very itchy welts on my lower legs, buttocks, hips. thighs and elbow. Is there another ’rash’ that often accompanies hashimoto’s patients? If this is psoriasis, it sure is stubborn.

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Knee Replacement Surgery

July 23, 2015 at 9:55am

Recently, I had a total knee replacement. After 3 months of Physical Therapy I am back at work, doing well for the most part.

On occasion, I have a large amount of swelling in the ankle of the same leg I had the knee replacement. This happens 2-3 times a week and not with any particular irritant. The swelling is enough to stretch my shoe out. I’d like to know if this is normal after this type of surgery?

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Peri-Menopause and Osteoporosis

January 8, 2015 at 4:00pm

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my hips in 2007. I am still peri-menopausal but have been taking medication since that time. My last bone density test showed osteoporosis is now in my spine. My physician doesn’t think it is necessary to change my treatment.

I started on Fosamax, but after 4 months I started having side effects, so I was switched to Actonel. I am not due for another year for a bone density. I don’t like to eat dairy foods, but I eat a yogurt every day. I take 500mg of calcium with 200iu D3 3 times a day.

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Strengthening a Woman's Bones

January 7, 2015 at 3:00pm

I had a bone density recently and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I just started alendronate. In addition to walking, rowing and using the elliptical, what else can I do to strengthen my bones?

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Foods to Help Strengthen Bones

April 22, 2014 at 3:08pm

What are some food choices that can help strengthen my bones?

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