Boston Mayor Thomas Menino remains hospitalized with worsening back pain, according to his physicians at Brigham and Women’s hospital.
Doctors Dale Adler and Charles Morris addressed the mayor’s condition in a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the hospital.
Menino suffered a compression fracture in his back while in the hospital, which, coupled with a viral infection, and a blood clot in his leg, has left the mayor hospitalized for weeks.
"The Mayor is doing quite well, and sends his regards," began Dot Joyce, chief communications officer for Boston. Joyce called the back pain a “minor setback” and said Menino was getting healthier every day.
The doctors would not commit to a timeline for Menino’s release from the hospital or return to work.
Morris said there are is no other "underlying issue" affecting Menino's long-term health.
“The back still persists as the key issue and that’s the one we’re focused on right now,” said Morris, Menino's attending physician.
Adler said the mayor is ambulatory and moving around in the hospital. The doctors and Joyce all repeated that Menino is clear-headed, and they all laughed about keeping Menino hospitalized, who's known to be out in Boston's neighborhoods.
“Oh no, he can walk, and we’ve pushed him,” said Adler. “No matter what, we need to keep him mobilized.”
Menino was originally admitted due to the viral infection on Oct. 26, after returning early from a wedding anniversary trip to Italy with his wife, Angela.
And while Menino is recuperating in the hospital, he is also on medications, which are still allowing him to function and work. “He is completely clear and able to make decisions," said Morris.
“We have no reason at all to be concerned that the kinds of medications he’s taking have any impact on his ability to engage or be present.”
"He’s getting briefing books here at night and in the morning so he can make decisions,” said Joyce. “It’s what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.”
Joyce shot down the idea that City Council President Stephen Murphy should take control of the mayor’s duties.
“At this point it’s not needed. He’s fully engaged,” she said.
Joyce would also not speculate on any politics around Menino seeking reelection.
The best treatment for a compression fracture is time to heal, according to the doctors.
“In general, that’s the hope, that it heals itself,” said Adler.