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compression fracture

tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am looking for anyone whom has had a compression fracture and to find out what type of treatment was given for it? My dad had fallen weeks back and has been in the hospital, thank goodness I know what I know from spine-health. After the second week of him being in the hospital loosing his bowels and not being able to urinate on his own, I pleaded with a doctor for a MRI, i suspected it would come back to the cauda nerve but in reality it came back to a compression fracture on the L2. The missed it on the regular x-rays and just did the MRI to appease me as I wasn't budging on giving up on a diagnoses. But all of it is a really a mute point at this time, as we finally 3 weeks later know what is wrong with him.

So I am curious as to what anyone's treatment was and how long before you entered therapy? Also what was the end result with the healing on it as far as time goes. He is currently in a brace. I might add he is 89, and I am being told the bladder is nuerogenic at this time and more than likely he will never be off a cath. Don't let the 89 scare you, up till this point and time the only medication he took was a thyroid pill. His biggest illness till this point and time was being blind. Sad thing they did yesterday was try to teach him to use a grabber. So I do need to give them a lesson in a blind person see's with their eyes. so if he can't see he can't grab it. But really just looking for how others recovered so I can gauge his long term care on this? Thanks in advance for any responses.


  • OK Tamtam I am sitting here shaking my head about the grabber. How long did it take them to figure that one out? The idiocy scares me.

    TTLC and HB probably have the most info on compression fractures in the spine. That's the only one I can think of although I am beginning to suspect I might have a slight fracture in the lower spine from my fall. But shhh don't tell anyone.

    As far as elderly patients my MIL fell when she was about 73. She broke her hip and would have had a replacement except for other health issues. She was in rehab for 12 weeks I believe. It seemed to heal fine on it's own. She was back to her independent life for another 3 years after that. So healing is possible.

    Is the fracture in place? Or did it shift. That also has alot to do with healing.

    Hope he is comfortable at least. And I can't wait to hear what rediculous thing they do next.
  • So sorry to hear of your dad's fall. Good for you on not giving up on him having a diagnosis. I admire you for pleading to have an MRI done on your dad.

    I had mutliple compression fractures in my thoracic area when I fell. I was braced for 3 1/2 months to help the healing and spine alignment of the compression fractures. I started PT around 4 months post op and started weaning myself from my brace around that time, as well. (Because I have over 50% loss of height in 3 of those compression fractures, I was refitted for another TLSO brace that I wear when need be).

    I think your dad should be feeling MUCH better around the 3 month marker and I would encourage him to wear his brace the majority of the day. The brace actually starts to feel really good to wear, around 2 months. It gives you a lot of support and takes the pressure of the compression fracture.

    Please keep us posted and I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences in having compression fractures.

    I wish your dad the best and will say prayers for him.

  • The L2 is right at the head of the cauda, where the main cord ends and the cauda starts tamtam. It could definitely be contributing.

    L2 is where mine is, and that's been their major concern all along (although I have never had cauda equina syndrome).

    How severe is the fracture? Mine started out as a mild/moderate compression fracture, ended up as a fully collapsed burst fracture with the entire vertebrae retropulsed into the spinal canal. It presses mostly on the Cauda Equina and only slightly on the Medullaris.

    Inflammation could definitely be an issue as well- directly after the fall, I had a great deal of pain and numbness that did dissipate and never came back, even when the bone collapsed (I'm having some now, but it could as likely be from L5).

  • Yesterday I finally got a hold of my surgeon whom is willing to look at the films and give me what he believes his prognoses may be at this time. My concern is that they want him in physical therapy now, and I question what that may or may not do for him? My surgeon doesn't want to get involved or treat him but said if I bring the films to him he would be happy to give me a opinion off the record. So I am going to follow that line and see where it leads me. The surgeon they called in on his case, won't call me which I have no idea why? I am his legal durable power of attorney.

    Yesterday they moved him over to the rehab unit, where i went and discussed the need to make him stronger and said he will be coming home after this. Of course they asked what happens if he can't come home? I said you know I will cross that bridge when I get there. My ultimate concern is they will think he needs a nursing home and there is really no need to rehab him.

    I did get a call back from the doctor in the hospital yesterday, Mr Rude I shall call him. He told me to look at him he is old blind and hard of hearing, and what do i expect them to do. Of course he is one lucky doctor I wasn't standing in the facility, as I know i would be in jail for punching him. But my answer was I expect you to treat him like a human being and not discard him like he is the trash from the meal you just ate.

    A little back ground on him, for the most part he is never been sick other than a bad bout with a bacterial infection. His mental faculties are completely in tact. The house cleaner visited him and he asked her if i fired her and if so make me give her a severance package and she should call her union rep on me. Of course he was just making a joke to her, but my point is he is sharp as a whip. I think what upsets me the most is that the medical profession see's his blindness not for what it is, a disability. Before this happened he was still able to if he dropped something get on the floor and crawl around looking for it. He runs the microwave as it is marked off. I did put a end to him with taking the trash out. He would tie a rope off to the house and follow it to the end with it pulled tight so he knew he reached the end of the driveway.

    I am hoping my surgeon can fill me in on how bad is the fracture and if it is in-line or not. I just question how much therapy one can do having a fracture. Or if the standard is let the fracture heal and then do therapy. Not do therapy while the fracture is healing.

    Kris I did let the rehab unit know don't give him a grabber expect him to grab something with it or i have a needle and a hay stack I want you to use. They actually chuckled at the thought of him using a grabber.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    =D> Way to go for taking care of your dad and not letting them push him aside because of his age. It makes me so made how some of the medical profession treat older people like they are senile or invisible!! I remember my mom's cancer doctor would talk to me about her like she wasn't even there and her sitting there. I finally told her, hey, right there she is, tell her! I mean really!! I can't imagine doing anyone that way. I've had some training in patient care and the one thing my teacher was adamant about was NOT discussing a patient that way!!
    Anyway, I'm so glad your dad has you looking out for him. I hope his fractures heal and he can go home like he wants. Please keep us updated.

  • Oh Tam, I am SOO sorry that your Dad is being treated that way!! I am just apalled(sp?) that they are doing this to him!!

    And yes good thing that you were not in the facility when Dr. Rude said that....what an A##!!

    I know nothing about the fracture but I will keep him in my prayers and he is so lucky to have you on his side!!!

    Stay strong and let us know how it goes and what your surgeon says!!!
  • Tammy, we have talked and I know how much you are struggling with this. Keep fighting for your dad. We all know that we have to fight for proper medical care and since your dad can't do that for himself, it falls on your shoulders to be his advocate. The problem is your shoulders are linked to your neck and that is going to create a whole lot of stress-related problems for you. Take care of yourself through this!
    But my answer was I expect you to treat him like a human being and not discard him like he is the trash from the meal you just ate.
    I would love to have been a fly on the wall during that conversation! Way to go!

    By the way, I've been trying to call you and your phone isn't working. Call me.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I would file a complaint about that comment.

    I was told not to start PT for several weeks after my fracture, until it had healed. But mine was a traumatic fracture rather than an osteoporotic fracture (I don't know how strong his bones are, that is something you need to be considering- whether this is a true traumatic fracture or is due to the condition of his bones).

    But there are things they can do while it's fresh- kyphoplasty- that they can't do once it is healed. So stay on it.
  • You need to let the Ombudsman for the Elderly know what they said that is not right, he should be treated with respect and be cared for in a way that he can get back to the his best health. This is not away a professional should talk about anyone. I worked for years in the medical field and this is not expectable :O
  • I can empathize with you. You are your dad's advocate and will constantly be making sure that he's taken care of properly. I had to do the same with my mom. That doctor btw didn't call you because your dad is coherent and able to make decisions. Durable power of attorney only kicks in when he is not. Your dad just needs to tell the doctor that he is to discuss his case with you. Are you his health care proxy?

    Any medical questions you have, you know you can call me. If you don't have my phone number still, please send me a private message.

    My SIL who had a compression fracture had this treatment done and she did very well afterwards:


    Best wishes,

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