Back Pain

Posted by: | 2017/05/31


For elderly patients with stenosis on the lower vertebra, can stem cell treatment be beneficial as opposed to surgery?

My mum with chronic diabetes and severe stenosis on her lower back havig had an MRI it was recommended that an operation will be needed. However, she has had previous operations and was told that the risks are too high and should not have another operation. Now the problem is back and she is in severe pain. What are alternatives to an operation. She is 73 years old.

Expert's Reply


Backache expert
- 2017/06/01

Good day,

Unfortunately, as physiotherapist, I cannot give an educated answer to your question. Your specialists will be able to help you better. 

From experience in rehabilitation, I can say that back operations on elderly patients, especially if they have poor general health, can have adverse outcome. 

My suggestion is that you consult a physiotherapist, who can assist your mom in doing exercise, within her ability.  This is the safest option. Then assess the situation after a few months, before you decide on any treatment option that involve risks.

I often hear people say: "I would rather walk and play cards with my mom while she is managing her pain conservatively, than to put her through serious procedures that us, as a family, cannot manage".

All the best,
Susan Grobler

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