"I am an 80-year-old woman struggling to care for my 85-year-old husband, who has several chronic health conditions. The problem is, I have a horrible back – a spinal condition called lumbar spinal senosis. My doctor feels that surgery could help me, but I’m afraid it would be futile at my age. And who would care for my husband, preparing meals for him, making sure he takes his medications and keeping up with the housework?"
Share your concerns with your doctor. And consider the results of this study, which found significant benefit from surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis with and without degenerative spondylolisthesis – debilitating spinal conditions which, as you may know, can cause leg and back pain, numbness and weakness.
Here’s even better news: Researchers found no higher overall complication rate and no higher mortality for patients age 80 and older when compared with patients younger than age 80.
“This study demonstrates that surgery for the treatment of lumbar stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis provides significant benefit compared to non-operative treatment in those patients over the age of 80,” said lead study author Jeffrey A. Rihn, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at the Rothman Institute and associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa.
“Patients in this age group had significant improvement in their function after surgery and complication rates comparable to the younger demographic. Based on the results of this study, surgery should be considered a viable treatment option for these lumbar conditions in patients older than age 80.”
Don’t let your worries about care for yourself or your husband influence your decision. Check out the resources at ReturningHome.com to learn how you could better make a safe transition home after your surgery. And contact your local Home Instead Senior Care® office to discover how a CAREGiverSM – for as little as a few hours a week – could provide help around the house to both you and your husband that could hasten your recovery and help ensure your husband is cared for as well.
Call today to learn more.
For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care® office, contact us at 419-472-8181 or go to HomeInstead.com/324. To learn more about the report, visit http://jbjs.org/content/97/3/177.
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