I was loading work related computers into my car at home on April 2nd, 2009 and I heard a snap in my left lower back. I made it to emergency and they found that my left L5 disc was bulging and impinging my left L5 nerve root. This was causing shooting pain down my left leg to my left foot. I could not work after that and since it was work-related, I had WCB take care of things. First they wanted to basically slap me on the butt and send me back to work. A week after my snap in the back, WCB sent me for a nerve root injection and that backfired and felt like I was being tortured. It was the worse needle I have ever had. They tried sending me to physiotherapy and get my back stretched and that hurt really a lot. Physiotherapy was not helping but hindering. Finally a surgeon wrote an IME report stating I could not work until I had a spinal fusion. I guess my spine shifted 25 percent off my pelvis.
I had my surgery on March 23, 2010. It was a 6 hour spinal fusion. I was released after the 3rd day. During my spinal fusion my surgeon caused a contusion on my right L5 nerve root. My surgeon never told me about the contusion he caused. The surgeon managed to only put my spine back 12 percent and bolted it down with four screws and two rods onto my pelvis. I had to have a nurse come to my house every day for a month to give me blood thinner injections into my stomach. I went into surgery with pain in my left lower back shooting radicular pain down my left leg and when I woke up from surgery I had severe radicular pain in my right lower back shooting through my buttocks and down my right leg and through my right foot. It felt like I was being electrocuted.
I was forced by WCB to go to the Canadian Back Institute 4 months after my surgery for a 8 week course. I could only do an hour a day as the pain was way to severe. Since my surgery my right quad and half of my right foot have been numb. I have lots of nights where I start sweating like a fever and sometimes I would wake up and my pillows were soaked. My surgeon had no comment for these flash floods.
CBI said at the end of the program that I was ready to return to work on September 29th, 2010. My surgeon met with me on September 30th, 2010 and said I was not ready to return to work and if they forced me to work I would most likely fail. WCB sent me to Edmonton to see an inhouse neurosurgeon that performs IME's on October 29th, 2010. When I got back to Calgary where I live, he ordered a CT-Scan and a MRI. The metal in my lower back made it hard to see the tissue as the image was blurred from the shiny metal. 3 months later without seeing that same WCB neurosurgeon, he wrote an addendum on January 16th, 2011 that I was ready to return to work and I was in worse shape than prior the spinal fusion.
WCB cut my benefits off the next day and refused to talk with me. My life insurance company that paid my LTD Benefits cut me off on April 25, 2011 and tried to use the WCB bias nuerosurgeon's report for evidence that I was better. I met with my surgeon on April 25th, 2011 and he wrote a report stating I was to be deemed permanently disabled as there was no change in my pain or my lack of functionality. I live alone so all of a sudden I was not being paid by anyone and I had to spend about 80 percent of my day in bed suffering with severe L5 nerve pain shooting down my right buttocks and right leg and foot.
In August of 2011 I went for a WCB Appeal and had a WCB lawyer and I had strong evidence that I was still quite disabled and since my surgeon wrote on his report that I was permanently disabled and not totally disabled, WCB still used their bias WCB surgeon that met with me in Edmonton and denied my appeal. After I lost the appeal, my WCB lawyer gave me his entire medical file as he said he didn't need it anymore.
I took it home and started going through it and found out that my surgeon caused a contusion on my right L5 nerve root and he failed to ever mention this to me. In September 2011, my surgeon wrote a letter to my Life insurance company and said they could not use the bias WCB surgeon's IME report to cut off my benefits and that they should get another IME done.
In October, 2011 after sending my surgeon a fax asking him why he failed to mention the contusion he caused during my spinal fusion on March 23, 2010, he send me a letter dated April 25th, 2011 and said he was ending his services as my surgeon and to go see my family doctor if I needed anything.
The life insurance company tried denying me my 3rd appeal in October 2011 after my doctor filled out a 4 page disabled report to them stating I was unable to work and I spent most of the day in bed suffering. On October 26th, 2011, I was denied my 3rd appeal with my Life Insurance company for my LTD benefits as they said my injury was pre-existing. I explained to them it was bad faith as I was already denied from them the year before on pre-existing and then they finally paid me so they couldn't deny me twice.
On December 16, 2011 I filed with the WCB Appeal Commission for a reconsideration based on more medical evidence that I am permanently disabled.
On February 3rd 2012, I sent my Life Insurance company an email stating that they had 3 choices. Either start paying me again, or pay me out until I am 65 years old a one time payment, or I would see them in court for bad faith, punitive damages and aggravated damages.
On February 8th, 2012 I received a letter from a lawyer from the Life Insurance Company stating that they took option 1 and are going to start paying me at the end of February, 2012. I still have 4 weeks to wait for the reconsideration from WCB.
I take 1 percocet and 1 - 20mg oxycodone every 4 hours for my pain ever since the surgery and 2 - 7.5mg of zopiclone sleeping pills every night to be able to sleep because of the severe pain.
Since last Sunday, February 5th something has changed in my back and I am in more pain that I have ever been and can barely walk now.
I want to go into Emergency tomorrow, February 10th, 2012 to see if they will remove my hardware from my spinal surgery as it is now unbearable pain even with my pain medication.
If it wasn't for my loving fiance that has been helping with my bills, I would be out on the street and it is hard as her family are very religious and she can't move in until we are married this summer so I still live alone and suffer every day. She comes over after dinner every night and lies next to me in bed and we watch either movies or TV. I have a laptop next to me on a table in bed, as I have not been able to enjoy my recreational room downstairs in over 3 years now or my computer room in the basement.
I have many sleepless nights and it is so painful to endure this radicular pain down my right buttocks, leg and foot since the failed back surgery. The narcotic based pain medication make me constipated most of the time, and I always have to take metamucil, stool softner and sometimes exlax to go number 2.
Most of my family and half my best friends over the last two years have ditched me due to my failed surgery and you really know who your true friends and family are when you are at the bottom.
I am hoping that I can get the hardware removed from my back soon and I hope the contusion my surgeon caused is going to heal one day. My massage therapist told me that until the damaged L5 nerve root heals that exercise only irritates and causes my back to swell and gives me muscle spasms. So I am caught between a rock and a hard place, or a catch 22. The more I do the more it hurts. I basically walk to go get a bite to eat and then I am back in bed as I can only handle walking, standing or sitting for 30 minutes maximum a day before I have to lie down to take some of the severe pain off.
Every night I take supplements such as an Omega 3-6-9 pill, one calcium pill, 2 vitamin C, and one multi-vitamin.
Any suggestions to my story, feel free! Thanks for reading it and understanding that almost 2 years after my surgery I still suffer in bed 80 percent of the day even on my pain medication. I am 44 years old.
Who feels after 2 years post surgery and the pain is severe that I should look into getting the hardware removed from my body ASAP? Does anyone know how long it takes to get booked in for the hardware removal surgery? Do you think if I walked into a main hospital's emergency department, that the back surgeon on duty could remove my hardware the same day?
Diagnosis - Lumbar Spine Stenosis and