It's been a long time since I've been on here...just wanted to share my experience with all and see if anyone else has "been there".
Anyway, on Jan. 18 I am scheduled(finally) for a revision of a previous fusion In 2008, TLIF of L5-S1 because of non-union, and due to Stenosis and Adjacent Level/DDD, a Laminectomy of L4-S1, and this time an anterior and posterior approach with internal fixation and posterior fixation.
The recovery from my previous surgery was for the most part uneventful...a 1 night stay and full recovery and return to work full duty, no restrictions a few months later. Unfortunately, I re-injured myself 5 months after returning to work and have been off work since June 2009. All I can say is that the overwhelming amount of stress due to dealing with the insurance carrier and work comp system has been at times more unbearable than the pain in my back. I swear I think they want you to just give up trying to return to work and just retire. They have constantly denied treatment and tests to the point that I now have only 5 months to fully recover from this surgery and return to work, full duty no restrictions and with a heavy physical demand level...I reach the 104 week statutory MMI and my benefits completely stop. I have been a loyal and hard working employee for 26 years with a local airline with an absolute spotless work history so I refuse to let these people (insurance carrier) take that away from me...although they have been treating me like a red headed step child! It's totally rediculous some of the crap they try and get away with!
A brief summary of my treatment includes medication, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, a series of 4 ESI's, an MRI, EMG, CT Mylogram, and ongoing home physical therapy. As you can see I pretty much exhausted all conservative treatment for my pain. The CT Mylogram was the key to my diagnosis although it wasn't until my first surgical consult when the Dr. actually looked at the films rather than rely on the technicians report and determined that I had loose hardware and an obvious non-union from my previous fusion.
This has all been so crazy with the request/denial/appeal/denial/IRO process for all these months!!! It is such a waste of time on the insurance carrier's part...and in the mean time, we suffer without treatment and our conditions become exacerbated and our overall physical and emotional health declines. All I can say to all of yall that may be going down that road is to NOT GIVE UP!!! Call your claim adjuster multiple times a week if not day, your company HR dept., your local field office handling your work comp case...just stay on the phone and send lots of emails so they wont forget you!!!!
Thanks yall for letting me vent my frustration...but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The carrier finally approved my surgery so things are getting better...although the anxiety of surgery is now my biggest problem.
I'm having fears of the anterior approach...pain, scarring, rehab, etc...and the recovery time. My biggest concern is that I live alone, have a home and cat to care for, and a big issue with asking for help to do things...I know I just need to relax at this point and everything will work itself out...it's just not easy!
Sorry I didn't intend for this to get so long....it just snowballed!!!....speaking of snow, we're supposed to get some snow here in east TX tomorrow!
Thanks for listening,