| One-Minute Clinician

Geriatric Patients: Treatments and Minimally Invasive Interventions

In geriatric patients, chronic pain is quite common as well as challenging. Due to age and comorbidities, surgery can be tough on this patient population.

What’s New?

  • Fewer surgeries are being done on patients 65
  • We have an option to provide, as the medical field is growing, minimally invasive options—sometimes with a tiny incision and frequently same-day procedures—to help the older patient population

Common problems in the aging population:

  • We see patients who are 70, 75+
  • When they walk for 10 or 15 minutes, they must sit down to alleviate symptoms
  • If they go grocery shopping and bend forward over their cart, that alleviates symptoms
  • They are unable to walk or stand for a longer duration secondary to the back pain
  • MRIs of these patients show lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Others have arthritis and stiffness in their back

Treatments:

  1. Try something simple/basic first: physical therapy, core muscle strengthening
  2. Medications such as neuropathics, anti-inflammatories
  3. Injections
  4. Last step: minimally invasive procedures