Mom has osteo, multiple vertebral fractures, constant pain. If orthopedic can't help her, what other treatment might I seek? -

Mom has osteo, multiple vertebral fractures, constant pain. If orthopedic can't help her, what other treatment might I seek?


She had one procedure injecting "cement" in her upper vert. It seems her orthopedic provider can't do anymore. She's too frail for surgery. Is there some other specialist to consult?

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I concur with the idea of seeing a pain specialist, including one who focuses on the mind-pain connection, the "mind body" syndromes.

This is some information about the theory.

This doctor has gone from just being a proponent of dealing with how the mind affects pain to being head of the center for this sub-discipline of medicine. To me it's a good example of how western medicine is attempting to blend and adapt techniques that don't always focus on medications.

Besides the other good suggestions already posted, you might think along the mind-body connection idea and use soothing medicine and fragrances (especially cinnamon) as a distraction when your mother is in a lot of pain. I'd recommend acupuncture but because of her age and dementia it might be too frightening.

As conversations can be redirected, the use of fragrance and music can be an attempt to distract the senses when pain is present.

Not to challenge anything CMagnum suggests, but I would be very cautious of osteoporosis meds, especially Fosmax, which has been the subject of class action suits. A friend's sister took Actonel, but eventually ended up with osteoporosis more severe than when she began the medicine. I'm not specifically blaming that med; it just might be that the situation was too advanced to correct with meds.

But be cautious of osteo meds; some have some really serious side effects.

One thing I did for my father was to get him a back brace. I wasn't enthusiastic initially, as ortho doctors had discouraged it because they felt it can allow someone to become too reliant on it and not do the proper exercises to maintain a healthy spine.

But when someone's in her/her 90's and already has medical and spinal issues, I think the back brace could be very helpful.

I think the medical/ortho perspective is another example of how medicine applies and focuses so much on younger people, who are still able to go out and walk and pump iron and do things that can help their conditions....they're not frail elders who are in the waning years of their lives.

One rehab medicine specialist even told us a few years ago that Dad was in his 90's, it was time to accept that there wasn't much that could be done. He didn't even have the sense to say "just suck it up." Obviously, after that visit he became a doctor who was no longer on our list of accepted physicians!
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You might want to consult a pain specialist. At 94, and with dementia, I think the treatment needs to be symptom relief rather than investigational.
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Pain patches (prescription strength) have given my mother good pain relief for compression fractures in her spine.
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No endrocrinologist yet. Thanks for the thought. Since she is 94 would like to see her pain lessened at the least. Forgive me for repeating but she is 94 and has undiagnosed dementia in some form.
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Has she seen an endocrinologist to check her hormones plus look at her blood for enough vitamin D which helps absorb the calcium to make new bone? There are meds to treat osteoporosis plus supplements to take care of related issues.If all of this has already been considered and for some reason not tried, then there is nothing to be done that I know of.
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