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Chest x-ray for flank pain showed arthritis at the back. Was on hydrocortisone. Can it cause a bone issue?

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An urgent-care physician recently ordered a chest x-ray for left flank pain. He said that I have arthritis through out my back that isn't severe, but much more than what he would expect for someone my age. (45) Would my lower than normal cortisol levels be the cause for this and would you recommend me seeing a rheumatologist in addition to my endocrinologist for this recent finding. I've only been on hydrocortisone for 3 weeks. My understanding is that it can cause bone issues, but it appears that I have pre-exsisting findings as a result of some unknown cause.
Posted Thu, 23 May 2013 in Lupus
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

Yes it's true that corticosteroids can cause osteoporosis, but that generally occurs after prolonged daily use for at least 3 months.

What you seem to be having is osteoarthritis of the spine called spondylosis.

This is an age related problem with the formation of osteophytes in the spine, which may cause pain and stiffness.

It may be unrelated to the hypopituritism.

The treatment of the same is largely exercises and regular intake of calcium and vitamin D.

Hope I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

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