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hey all, any help?

tattoodglenttattoodglen Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
To start, i'm really glad i found this web site, i actually stumbled across it a couple months ago and read some posts and other stuff and really enjoyed it, but at that time did not have a computer at home and was working 50 hours or more a week so had no time. Things have drastically changed now...
I started my journey of back problems on July 14, 2009. I drive garbage transfer semi's for a local company where i live in southern MI. We haul very heavy loads and the one i was hauling that afternoon was light at about 111,000 pounds gross. Long story short, the 5th wheel on the tractor released and i fealt the pop as the trailer started to let go, with cars around, my option was to hit the breaks and hope for the best, which i did and the trailer, about 97,000 pounds, came into the back of the frame on the tractor. So basically, i was rearended by 97,000 lbs at about 25-30 mph.
my employer sent me their dr, after i completed the day at work in a lot of pain, and they said to take some muscle relaxers and ibuprofen and i'd be fine, to follow up later if needed. AT that point, i was having a hard time walking, sitting, standiing, and they did nothing. the next day, i made them send me somewhere else, and this place took x-rays, which showed nothing, and they ordered some phys. therapy, and said it was a muscle strain. Over the next two weeks on weight restrictions and P.T. every couple days, i started feeling better, fo rhte most part and b/c my employer was getting ancy with the whole thing, i got them to release me back to full duties at work.
Over the next month, things went well, then September, a little more sore, but by the 3rd week of october, the inuprofen and muscle relaxers weren't helping and one night while playing cards with friends, i tried to stand up and everything got really bad. I went back to the work dr. the next day and they said it was nothing to do with the accident from july, that they wouldn't treat me, so i went to my p/c doctor, and they took xrays and ordered an mri.
The x-rays showed some minor degenerative changes, more than normal for my age, only 27 years. When we got the mri results, they showes herniation of L4-5 and 5-S1, it also showed herniation of T8-9 and 9-10, along with ligament damage in that entire region. results also showed degenerative changes and some exagerated kyphoses of the thoracic spine possibly related tho Sherman's disease.
I fired that dr, after he quit returning my phone calls and started seeing a spine specialist and pain management dr. The specialist looked at my mri films and his first answer was i don't think i can fix this, we will have to treat what we can and hope that my "young" body can do healing on it's own. He found the 2 Lumbar herniations and also said those two are severely dehydrated, he also found that in addition to the thoracic herniations, i have a fracture of T9, possibly collapsing, a possible fracture of T8, and herniation of T8-7. There are also enough other changes to label me DDD, and he said that we can rule out the Sherman's. Since then, the second week of Nov, 2009, I have been on every medication from Ultram to now Methodone, taking 10mg 3-4 times daily, and we are now trying to get my insurance carrier to pay for a diskogram. Oh yeah, my dr. took me off work on 12-11-09, and MI workman's Compensation is fighting the whole thing saying that my injuries are not work relatd because my only problem as they see it is some minor degenerative changes. This is week 7 off work with no income to provide for my family of three, and i'm starting to loose it a little, the pain keeps getting worse, the medications stronger and my hopes of returning to work are slim to none now, at least to my job as it is hard physical labor and driving for the DOT. My dr says to start looking for another career or college, that i really don't have any other options.
Thanks for listening, any help and wisdom would be greatly appreciated...



  • i forgot to note that we have done three EPI injectons, first at T9, which made my pain 10 times worse, i think i had a reaction to the steroid they used, they did one a week and a half later at T8, with no positive results and then 2 weeks ago they put one at L5-S1, also with a painful reaction and no positive results...

  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many going through the same issues as yourself.

    Now I don't know much about the Thoriac spine but wanted to comment on your work injury itself. You need to ask this spine doctor you are seeing if he is writing in your files the prevailing factor to your spine injuries are a direct result of the July accident. If you don't have copies of all the medical records from treatments thus far get a hold of them. You need to know what is in those files. Although the doctors are telling you one thing typically work comp is sending in additional paperwork that is getting filled out and you need to be aware what is in them. If the spine specialist is saying that your injury is a direct relation to the accident then I would get a attorney who can speed the hearings up to get some income coming back in your home. Furthermore if you need to go look for another type of employment then if it is work comp they maybe forced to pay the schooling. Now if it doesn't work out that way for you start by checking your local government offices and get some funds to start schooling. while your on the mends it is possible to do home schooling over the internet.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Keep us posted on how your doing. Take care.
  • Wow, there's a lot going on there. How they can say that your accident had nothing to do with the damage would be very upsetting. Maybe they are looking at the bottom line $.

    If you do get a discogram make sure that the Dr. and facility it is done in are both accepted by your insurance. My Dr. was, but not the facility (it never occurred to me to check). Now I have a 15,000 bill I have to appeal with the Ins. co.

    Lots of helpful people and good information on this site.
  • hi tattoo
    wow you should never have gone back to work alot of w/c docs are horrible..and he should have gotten a mri asap..
    all that weight..any accidents car or truck..alot of stuff don't show till later..
    can't believe you walked after that weight shifting like that.
    i'm not on w/c or never gone thru but was a manager in retail for many yrs..and companys are horid to ppl on w/c and they have deals with most of docs they work with..
    if poss get a w/c case worker and you need them to go with you for all doc appt..
    find a spine specialist that will help you..keep searching..took me many docs to help me
    i am in process of ssd its long and takes many months before you here anything.
    sorry you went back to work but make them listen to you it is your right to get another opinion from docs
    i had injections also and was in july and aug
    i am still swollen and i think it triggered my fibromyalgia..
    i really hope you get a doc to help you..never had a discogram but heard painful
    alot of great ppl in hear and hope you get some good answers
    this is the greatest place.i wish i would have found years ago.
    i had L4,L5 fusion in 06..and was doing very good till this last may..
    this forum has so many helpful moderators and good ppl to help..
    whatever you need we are all here for you..a great place to vvent..and ?? and support
    wish you the best
    and we all feel your pain
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Thanks,

    I talked to my dr. about that on thurs. last week and he opened the file and showed me his notes. They clearly say that i have preexisting degeneartive problems, but that the herniations and other problems were caused by the accident. when i talked to the caseworker for w/c, they said that the only thing they see is degenerative, they don't see any other injuries or problems. I asked him about what the doc showed me and he said said it doesn't make any diff. They, my dr. office, are putting together a letter for the w/c ppl stating exactly what they found and the injuries, and requesting a peer to peer consult with one of their dr's. thanks, any other advice is really appreciated...
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