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Cervical Laminectomy 3 weeks Post Op

GreyEagleGGreyEagle Posts: 350
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone:

Approximately 3 weeks post op C-3 thru C-6 Cervical Laminectomy: Incision is healing nicely (about a 6 inch on back of my neck). I experience a fair amount of pain in that area. I also experience muscles spasms on both shoulders. I feel the pain meds are doing as good as can be expected, certainly acceptable pain control so far.

What has not changed is the pain in my left arm from my hand to my neck. That pain is severe, as it has been for almost 3 years. This surgery was to correct this problem. What I'm told is I may have permanent nerve damage. Or, another possibility is may take up to a year for that to heal. All we can do is wait.

I've notified my employer I'll need to return to work on a permanent part time basis (20 hour week). I keep my medical/dental benefits that way but lose any kind of disability benefits. I know I cannot work a 40 hour week. Neither my neck or left arm could handle it.

I've seriously considered SSDI but my wife says we cannot afford that. She says she could not afford to put me on her employers medical Insurance and we could not afford the 20 percent we'd have to may that medicare does not pay.

I should probably research what other Insurance plans would cost that could pick up at least a good part of the 20 percent.

Anyway, just reporting how things are at this juncture.

Thanks, as always, for being there guys!

Ken GreyEagle


  • Wow does time fly. So you haven't seen any relief in your arm pain? that's a bummer and I hope things settle down soon for you.

    The work thing is difficult. I know I will never be returning to work full time again. Even part time will be difficult. I do work about an hour a day doing some online stuff, but I carry all my stress in my shoulders and that is not good for my neck, so even that one hour a day is a bit much. This coming from someone who used to work 50-70 hours per week and loved every minute of it. It is hard to be a hermit and not go out much, but it is even harder to go out and spend the next few days paying for it.

    If you file for SSDI, you can still do some part time work. There are limits to how much you can make, but the system is set up for those of us who can't work full time in "substantial gainful activity". I have yet to file for SSDI, even though I should. Just can't bring myself to do it. But depending on how much you earn per hour, you may still be able to qualify and work as you are able. I think there is a 2 year waiting period before you can get medicare, but maybe you could have private insurance until that is in place. Of course ultimately the goal would be to get you back to work full time doing something you love, but knowing how difficult posterior cervical surgery is to recover from, I think it will be a while before you are at that point.

    3 weeks is still relatively new from surgery. Keep up the positive attitude, and I hope your arm pain diminishes over time.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Can I still apply for SSDI and work a 20 hour week while waiting for results of application? If I work a 20 hour week I can keep my medical/dental benefits.
  • I don't know the hour to that. In order to qualify for SSDI you have to prove that you are no longer able to have substantial financial gaine due to your medical situation. There are dollar limits placed on that. I think it is something in the neighborhood of $900 per month and if you make more than this amount you are considered to have substantial financial gain. You'd be best to speak with an attorney about this, or even jeauxbert is somewhat of an expert on answwering these kinds of questions.

    Bottom line they will want you to prove that you are disabled, but you have to know what the definition of disabled is according to SSA. Time to ask some questions my friend. Good luck to you.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Yes, Cindy, you are correct. My Long Term Disability Claim Manager says they have attorney's that work on this for me. They initiate the whole process of applying and sheperd me thru the whole thing.

    I will talk to my Claim Manager tomorrow and see what she advises.

    As it is right now I'll be going back 20 hour week I believe the 3rd week of June. They may start me at 2 hours a day for a few weeks to let me slowly get back in the swing of things.

    In the meantime it doesn't hurt to apply for SSDI and see what comes of that.

    The severe arm pain in my left arm the surgery was supposed to correct did not work. My surgeons believe I may have permanent nerve damage. I have type 2 diabetes. I have flat feet with neuropathy and constant plantar fascitis. I have a man coming Monday to fit me for a power chair.

    All in all I think I have a good chance for SSDI. I am 57 yrs old as well. But at the same time I need to work enough to keep my medical dental benefits with my current employer. They are exceptionally good.

    So, I'll go with what my Claim Manage advises and see where that leads. I'm not worried about it. Its in the Lord's hands.

    Thanks so much for your comments Cindy, and everyone!

  • Ken,
    Sorry to hear that you are still having arm pain and such. Perhaps with more time things will lesson and some of the pain will go away. Try to stay positive and taking it easy. Hope things improve.

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