Fluoride Action Network


Joint pain and swelling in patients on fluoride therapy are generally attributed to rheumatic phenomena; however, their occurrence exclusively in the lower limbs suggests a mechanical cause. Eight patients receiving daily doses of sodium fluoride 1.09 mg/kg, elemental calcium 1 gm, and vitamin D 1000-2800 units for osteoporosis spontaneously developed 17 episodes of periarticular pain and swelling in the lower limbs. Radiographs taken within two weeks of the onset of pain were negative, but when repeated 4-6 weeks later showed features of healing stress fractures in the periarticular cancellous bone at the following sites: distal femur (2) proximal tibia (3), distal tibia (6), calcaneum (6). Bone scintigraphy was positive on five occasions, two before radiographic signs had appeared.