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Need Advice From People Who have been there !!

jovondaadamsjjovondaadams Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OK this is going to be long so i am sorry...
My husband had a disk replacement last year workers comp.. well lawyer said medical was left open well come to find out its open for 3 years but we have to prove there has been a change in condition for the worse.. so we are on a mission.. we just paid out of pocket for the mri we have no insurance so we have no family doctor.. before we pay to go see a doctor that may or may not help us i would like to post his 2 mri reports the old and new and see if out of everyone here believe's there has been a change.. i know u guys are not doctors and all that legal stuff just person to person our beliefs..thanks and sorry this is so long.. here are the mri results...

June 23,2008

Findings: there is straighting of the normal lordosis that may reflect patient positioning or muscle spasm.

There is no loss of vertebral body height,fracture or subluxation and no marrow signal abnormality.

The imaged spinal cord and conus medullaris are unremarkable with the conus ending at L1

Disc Material
L1-2 There is a slight disiccation of disc material and minimal disc bulge without spinal or lateral recess stenosis

L2-3 normal

L3-4 normal

L4-5 There maybe a minimal disc bulge without spinal or lateral recess stenosis

L5-S1 There is a slight rigth paracentral disc bulge with minimal lateral recess encroachment, right greater then left. ap diameter of the spinal canal is 13 mm (this is where the disk replacement was done)

Mri 4-20-10

Findings: the conus medullaris terminates at L1 and appears normal. Normal cauda equina

Lumbar vertebral body height and alignment are maintained. Artifact from prior anterior fusion at L5-S1

L1-2 demostrates no central canal or neuroforminal stenosis

L2-3 demostrates no central canal or neuroforminal stenosis

L3-4 demostrates mild broad-based disc protrusion and moderate bilateral facet joint hypertrophy. no central canal and mild bilateral neuroforminal stenosis

L4-5 demostrates mild broad-based disc protrusion and moderate bilateral facet joint hypertrophy. no central canal and mild bilateral neuroforminal stenosis.

L5-S1 demostrates artifact from post surgical changes

Conclusion: Post surgical changes with artifact at L5-S1
Mild Lumbar Spondylosis

Ok there is both reports please give me any insight of what your beliefs or thought of the two reports mean..thanks.. I forgot to add that his pain is so much worse now then before the first surgery and that was bad enough pain..he also has alot of weakness in the legs and the sciatic is a still a problem.. Is this possible a change in condition for the worse??


  • lol

    You know we are not doctors but it seems pretty obvious that l3-5 is affected now. They were fine before and now show mild & moderate change. Question is what does that mean.

    My preference is a neurologist who could link his pain to the report. Is his surgeon from last year still around? If he seemed sympathetic you might want to start with him.

    What I'm not understanding is why WC isn't paying for his medical if the case wasn't closed out. Generally at some point WC offers you either a cash settlement or continued medical. If the case is open he should be able to see doctors for the same problem.

    I don't know enough about this aspect but I wonder if there will be a problem because the surgery led to damage at other levels. Not sure how they handle that. We all know that once you alter the spine you are at risk for problems at other levels - usually seems to be above. Not sure how WC handles this.

    I'm sure money is tight but you may need a lawyer for this. You mention that the lawyer said this was open - who's lawyer was he? Any chance of help from a union or company rep?
  • Well his surgeon is still around; however, before he was released and considered mmi the surgeon did some facet injections and was going to do some more test to figure out what could be the problem..That was what he said when we left his office then the next week we recieved a letter stating he had released him and considered him mmi.. When they did the dicogram the doctor told me that there was a few bad spot but one he felt was the worse and causing the problems..hence they did adr at L5-S1. so we feel that since he told us he was going to do some more testing then turning around and releasing him without us even knowing that he's not the surgeon or dr we want to go to..I do nt undderstand the whole medical open but they are not paying for it either.. Our lawyer said that if a certain amount was set aside for medical then it would be covered but since the medical was just open then we have to prove a change in condition for the worse?? They send him a check weekly to for the court appointted amount that was ordered for the settlement but he never signed anything closing it or anything else.. We do have a lawyer that says it's up to us to pay for it until we get a change of condition for the worse then we can see about getting the money spent reembersed and then they "WC" will start paying the medical that is needed...Other than that we are confused and do not know where to go from here... sorry about the length.. .
  • First call the surgeon and any other doctors who have treated him and request copies of his records including all tests, prescriptions and office notes. They have to provide these to you. There might be a small fee for test results if they are films or cd's. Call the hospital and get a copy of the surgery report.

    Then call your lawyer and tell him you want a copy of all papers they received from WC. Again you are entitled. I am getting the sneaking suspicion that your lawyer messed up and let something slide. I would also call WC directly and ask them for copies of anything they sent to you or your lawyer after his surgery.

    You have two possible routes at this time. Either find a new lawyer which will probably be expensive and you might want to wait on this. Or spend the money to go to a neurologist with your MRI results. When you make the appointment make sure they will provide a report to your WC carrier explaining the doctors findings. Some offices are better at this than others. You don't want to go to a doctor who is uncooperative.

    I think you have good reason to seek further treatment. I'd be surprised if they denied further treatment. But you need to know how this case was handled. I know this sounds scary but you need to do it. By the way did you ever call the surgeons office to ask why they discharged him when you had test results pending? I wonder if that was a clerical mistake. If they won't tell you there would have to be something in the notes.

    So put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and get to work. Keep us posted and remember the more you share the better chance of someone being able to offer their experiences.
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