Mayor Thomas M. Menino will remain hospitalized indefinitely while doctors continue to perform tests to determine the source of the most recent pain in his back, the mayor’s spokeswoman said Friday.
Menino has been at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for three weeks with a variety of ailments that have included an upper respiratory infection and a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his lungs. While hospitalized, he suffered a compression fraction in one of the vertebra in his spine.
“The mayor was feeling a bit better today,” said the spokeswoman, Dot Joyce, after returning from the hospital. “He was up and signing things.”
Doctors have not said when Menino might be released from the hospital, Joyce said. He recently canceled a Nov. 20 breakfast fund-raiser.
Menino’s staff has said that the mayor has been running the city from a hospital room since Oct. 26, when he cut short a vacation in Italy and returned home to seek medical treatment.
On Friday, the mayor sat in a chair and signed several documents, Joyce said, including a grant for the Fire Department, the transfer of money into a reserve account for collective bargaining, and an ordinance that will change how rental housing units are inspected.
A few city department heads have visited the mayor, Joyce said, but she declined to identify them by name.
“It’s a hospital room,” Joyce said. “We’re trying to limit the number of people in and out.”
At a press conference earlier this week, doctors said Menino had made significant progress but remained hospitalized for a few extra days for rehabilitation.
During that stretch, he endured another setback, suffering what doctors described as a fresh surge of pain in his back.
The five-term mayor has not set foot in City Hall since Oct. 14, when he left for what was supposed to be a two-week trip to Italy with his wife.
Menino, 69, must decide by spring whether he will run for another term in 2013.Andrew Ryan can be reached at email@example.com Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.