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Mary's story: Prolapsed (slipped) disc - Patient history

Mary’s story:
Osteoporotic fracture

Mary is in her 80s and lives alone in a flat on the second floor of a house in Edinburgh. She is generally well, and very proud of the fact that she still gets out every day to do her errands.

One Saturday, she slipped on the stairs and fell on her bottom, hard. It took her several minutes to catch her breath, and get to her feet. That night the pain was bad enough to prevent her getting much sleep. On Sunday morning, she called the GP out-of-hours service, but the doctor she spoke to on the phone thought that she had probably sustained a nasty bruise, and suggested that she use an ice-pack to help relieve the pain, and to take regular doses of paracetamol. Mary spent a miserable day in bed, and on Monday, called the surgery to request a home visit.