How bad is a bruised spine?

That’s basically the whole question in the thread title - is a bruised spine a potentially dangerous thing? My sister (19 years old) is arthritic, and she has been since she was about 14. Lately, my mom tells me, she has been in a lot of pain, and a recent check-up revealed that she had bruising on her spine. My mother didn’t want to talk about it much when I spoke to her because my sister was next to her, and my sister is somewhat emotional (read: hysterical) about her arthritis and any effect it has on her and, well, my parents live in fear of her :slight_smile:

So I’m a little concerned, and I don’t really know how to Google it - I am not very good with search engines.

I don’t know if its relevent at all, but my sister is on Vioxx, and she has HORRIBLE posture as a result of her arthritis. She favours her right leg (where it was worse originally) and walks with somewhat of a hunch. She seems to not bend her knees much when she walks, and she walks a lot on her toes. I’m guessing the posture thing might have something to do with the bruising, but I imagine after 5 years, it’s going to be really touch to correct, so I’m worried that something bad could happen in the meantime. I mean, doesn’t bruising cause swelling, and swelling on the spine is bad, right? Couldn’t it cause paralysis?

OH, and BTW, don’t tell her I’m worried - as far as she knows, I hate her :smiley: LOL


Nobody? Qadgop? DoctorJ? Or someone skilled in the art of using search engines (DDG?).

I am worried about this, and I know that there are people around who can answer this, if they see it.

Disclaimer: IANAD

OK, that said, this does sound puzzling. Bruised spine? How could she have bruised her spine? Did she fall? Was she in an accident? What?

As fair as I know, arthritis, in and of itself, does not cause bruising.

Now, swelling of the spine could be caused by arthritis, and perhaps described as bruising… That, by the way, would most likely be swollen joints between the vetebrae, much like arthritis can cause swelling in other joints (which is not bruising). Could it cause disability? Well, potentially, if it got bad enough, but that’s not at all common.

Please tell me your sister is seeing a rheumatologist…?

She is seeing a specialist for it - I just wasn’t in a situation to ask for details. Like I said, my sister is very emotional about this, and has a fit when people talk about it - she’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist rather than accept it (though she does take her meds and all, she’s just not emotionally handling it too well). And, as I said, my parents live in fear of my sister’s wrath because dammit, she can be SCARY when upset :slight_smile:

She didn’t fall, it seems to be something caused by her arthritis. She has it primarily in her hips and legs, and like I said, she walks with a hunch. I was told “bruising” - which as far as I know is broken blood vessels, possibly causing swelling.

I’m just wondering if this could get worse in the future - she’s taking meds but no physiotherapy (which I think she should have) and makes no effort to fix her posture, etc. So lump all that together, is this a sign of something that could get a hell of a lot worse?

Sorry, mnemosyne, not enough info. One would have to know if she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis? Psoriatic Arthritis? Or another type? Was her most recent diagnosis made on the basis of plain x-rays? A CT scan? An MRI scan?

I’m afraid there’s just not enough data available without quizzing her directly to even make any type of general statement about what she might or might not suffer from.

But take solace in the fact that she does see a specialist for it. Is it a rheumatologist?

Sorry I can’t help. Really.

Hmm…thats ok. I just got off the phone with my mom and she says that the bruises are visible, all up and down her spine. I thought it was from a doctor check-up, but apparently not. My dad is trying to contact a specialist in Montreal to get another opinion (the current doctor is good, but you never know what someone else might say…). Mom says that the arthritis seems to be moving from her legs to her back and hips - as if it was migrating. I don’t know that that was possible, but thats how the pain is now, apparently.

I think the doctor is a rheumatologist. I only know his name, but he is AFAIK one of the only people in Sherbrooke who knows much about juvenile arthritis. I’m pretty sure its not rheumatoid, though, or Psoriatic. Neither of those names sounds familiar. I’m sorry, but I have only heard the name in French, and I can’t remember it even then!

I’m thinking that perhaps her posture is causing her to bruise at night when she lies down and her back tries to straighten out. Somehow I can imagine that, and it doesn’t seem that bad. Bruises on the OUTSIDE of the body are better in my mind than bruises on the inside.

Like I said, my parents are looking into going to Montreal to see if anyone there can do more for my sister. The Vioxx helps, but doesn’t come CLOSE to eliminating her pain, and its really tough for her to get up and do anything at all. Her doctor said that it basically takes her body twice as much energy and effort to do something as it does for us. I know how I hate to move when I’m tired - I can only imagine how awful it is for her.


Thanks anyways. I’m sure I’ll hear more from my family in time - its probably not as bad as I was imagining while waiting to hear more!