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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Liver Diseases

Question: Osteoporosis fracture and cirrhosis?

 mymorgan0929 - Fri May 11, 2007 3:41 pm

My mom fianlly admitted to me a few weeks ago that she was diagnosed w/ liver disease last year. She's been an alcoholic as long as I can remember (I'm 31 now, she's 55). Although she told me that she doesn't know what stage her disease is in, she did say the doctor's told her that there is nothing that can be done, I'm guessing she's already into Cirrhosis. She doesn't give me details because she is trying to spare me so getting any information from her is difficult and I'm left to sort through her symptoms on my own.

Last week she fractured her foot and the orthopedic doctor told her she has osteoporosis. They cannot cast it because of the swelling in her leg. She tells me the swelling is a normal result of fracturing her ankle, but I've never heard of someone having to wait a week or two for the swelling to go down before being able to get a cast.

So, thanks to the internet I know that osteoporosis is common in people with liver disease, but does this swelling sound right for just a fracture or could this be edma?

Thank you very much
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon May 21, 2007 2:13 pm

User avatar Tough question as it may be a combination of both.

After having a fracture of the ankle there can be significant swelling because often the fracture is also associated with some trauma to the ligaments and tendons (basically causing an ankle sprain along with the fracture).

It is fairly common to first splint a fracture then place the cast in about a week to let any swelling go down.

With liver disease, the blood albumin level can drop and result in edema. One way to help sort it out would be to compare the ankles. Edema would present with swelling of both ankles. If the broken ankles is larger than the other, the difference in size is most likely due to swelling.

Best wishes.

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