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Hard fall on lower back/spine area - Unbearable pain

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My mum had a bad fall in the garden 4 days ago where the trailor rolled on her and knocked her about 2 meters where she landed on her back. She is 72 years old. I have taken her to the hospital - they have taken xrays and they said the xrays look blurry and cannot see if anything has broken or fractured. She is in unbearable pain, cannot walk or move - the doctors have given her en zone tablets to take 4 times a day with a 1 Valium at night but she is in so much pain. Please tell me how long does it take for the lower back/spine area with a fracture to at least be able to go to the toilet?? I have taken her a walking stick and she can just lift that I have also taken her one of those chairs that the old people hold to walk - it is so light yet she cannot lift it to walk - where i can lift it with my little finger Sad It is so upsetting looking at her like that she was so strong before this ordeal
Any suggestions i will greatly appreciated...
Thanking you kindly
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replied April 3rd, 2011
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amanda45,

You should have your mother seen again. To say that the x-rays were blurry, so they could not make a diagnosis, of whether or not she has a fracture, is unacceptable. Being thrown two meters is a significant injury for a young person, let alone a young lady of 72. Her bones are more likely to be osteoporotic, and as such, more easily fractured. If the injury was insignificant, after four days she should be feeling better, and she is not.

I would see someone who can repeat the x-rays, and make sure they are adequate to rule out any fractures.

Hope your mother feels better very soon.
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replied April 4th, 2011
I agree with amanda, get another x-ray and see another doctor. and get better pain killers to start, so she can have a little relief
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replied April 4th, 2011
thank you my friends - today i took your advice and have taken her back to the hospital seeing different doctors different nurses - i am getting the same answers if not worse answers - today they said its old age also they said if its something broken it will heal in time, also if its something fractured on the lower back again time will heal - they have given us a lot of pain tablets and constipation tablets- due to these pain relief tables she has not been able to go to the toilet for 8 days now and tomorrow they are sending a physiotherapist to the house - i am so fractured and confused - she is in so much pain and no one can tell me what is going on after the fall. 1 x-ray they took and the answers are it could be this or that and it could take weeks/months for her to feel a little better and that is if she feels any better due to old age - watching the doctors arguing with each other whether they should do a cat scan or not at the end they didn't and now we are back home she is on the highest medication for the pain at this stage, still cannot mobilize herself anywhere - not even to go to the toilet.
PS they said they cannot do anything for lower back injuries apart from heavy medication for pain relief and physiotherapy.
thank you for taking the time Gaelic and Matted to answer my question or even reading my nightmare. I feel a little better writing my frustration down i suppose tomorrow is another day... hopefully a better one
thank you again
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replied April 4th, 2011
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amanda45,

Hopefully, the physical therapist can get your mother up a little. It is very important for your mother to move. A leading cause of deteriorating health is bedrest. It can cause muscle atrophy, lung problems, bedsores, GI problems, etc.

However, to just chalk it up to old age is not quite right. True, the elderly do not have as much strength or reserves, but, they usually handle pain much better than younger people. One good thing, is that it is not a grossly displaced fracture, that would require surgery or traction. But, bone heals, and symptoms should get better as time goes on. If the physical therapy does not help significantly, be a pain in the doctor's @$$. A CT scan or MRI, should be done if the symptoms do not get better shortly, to see if the soft tissues around the spine have been injured.

Help your mother to be as active as possible. Inactivity, as you have noted, can be a big problem. Hopefully, the therapist will encourage your mother to get up and about. Good luck.
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replied April 5th, 2011
THANK YOU GAELIC for your reply, you are such a great help and honestly it is your advice i am following - today the physiotherapist didnt show up - do you believe that - tomorrow i am going to carry her to another GP that a freind of mine suggested - i am not going to go back to the hospital because to me it is a waste of time.
she can walk very little baby steps due to the high dose of pain medication they have given her but that is no answer - she dosnt feel much pain she says but i dont think she feels much of anything - she is sitting on a chair like a zombie and her speech is very mumbled. I am sure it is too much medication so tomorrow i will try this other doctor to see if anything is clearer.
She is taking 1 morphine base tablet at night and 1 in the morning and 4 enzone i think they are called during the day, and 1 high blood pressure tablet, 1 ulcer tablet because she has an ulcer in the stomach, a lot of laxatives because she hasnt been to the toilet for 9 days, and a Valium i think its called at night time to sleep. her tummy was hurting today of course i was not surprised but i called and they said its ok. i will write again tomorrow what this new doctor says and i will take the garbage bag of medication and show him and see if all these tablets are necessary.Thank you again for your advise and hopefully i will have more positive news tomorrow..
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replied February 6th, 2013
I have read this today and hope you will post again so I can follow your mother and her treatment and diagnosis. I also had a very bad fall 18 days ago and the pain is unbearable though I am able now to finally walk with the aid of a walker to the toilet. Slowly and with baby steps. I am also 73 yrs. old and do not handle pain meds of any kind easily. They make me feel sick to my stomach, but had to take morphine for the first four days.
I do hope to hear from you again. Blessings and good luck.
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replied February 6th, 2013
Your mum is being fobbed off. I would insist you ask your doctor to send her for an MRI scan.

When I first did my back injury back in 2011, I was constantly told I had muscle damage and was treated for it. Was on that much medication I did not know what my name was. After exhausting all options I was sent for an MRI. This shown I had two bulging discs and a tear....not muscle damage.

Your mum is suffering and needs to be looked at properly, if she has private health care like BUPA then go see someone privately.

I hope she recovers soon Smile
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