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spine & neck

lestersquadllestersquad Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
hi everyone, been reading forum for some time. 2yrs ago i was told i have DDD in lumbar, had L4L5 fused,all went pretty good.alot less pain than before surgery, well 2yrs go by and my thorcervical and thoracic start hurting daily.i forced my self to make it through work work everyday till the pain and numbness got really bad. seen spine surgeon. had MRI done

cervical c6-7cherniated impinging on anterolateral cord causing severe narrowing
c4-5 herniated upon thecal sac
c3-4 and c7-t1 bulging impiging on thecal sac

thoracic t10-11 herniated causing left neuroforaminal narrowing
disc bulge t-7-8-9 narrowing
t2-3 t5-6 t 6-7 t 9-10 bulging upon thecal sac

they fused c6-7 a week ago. my spine hurts all the time,talked to work they don't know if they can use me anymore,depression has set in i take vicodin,paxil valuim muscle relaxers,celebrex don't know whats going to happen now.do i look into disabilty? thanks for listening,sorry for spelling


  • Hi,
    My advice would be to take things one step at a time.
    The first step, of course is to get over your recent surgery. Then I would have a long talk with the surgeon find out the prognosis and explore your treatment options. I would also seek his advice on your employment prospects. You don't say what your job is, but if it is going to cripple you then it would not be in your long term interests to carry on doing it. I would then consult with the employer to ascertain if they will be able to accomodate your needs, may be by flexible working or changing your duties. At the same time I would make some inquiries and do as much research as possible to find out what are the local criteria (depending on where you live) for obtaining disability benefits, if the need arises and what the procedures are and what help is available.
    I realise it is not very nice to have to contemplate these things but I'm sure that taking uncertainty out of the equation will help you adjust to your situation as it develops and ensure you make the right choices at the right time.
    Finally I would work out a plan with whoever is in charge of your pain management to ensure you are not on an open ended, never ending, ever increasing spiral of pain medication. Every drug has side effects ,physical or mental and pain drugs are prone to become less effective with use. I think that for many people pain management becomes a process of reacting to the problems of the moment, which in effect just means taking ever increasing quantities of ever more powerful pain medicine. It's probably better to endure pain during certain parts of the day so that your pain medication is most effective when you really need it.

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • Sorry you are hurting Lester & welcome to Spine Health.

    I week out of surgery-of course you are in a lot of pain. Please follow your doctors orders on taking pain medication, this close to surgery your body is really needing extra rest- taking the meds as scheduled will keep your pain from spiking out of control.

    Your spine sounds messed up like mine. I was sent to PM after my cervical fusion. It has been a godsend for me. While some people do not believe in it other rely on it to survive. I have a family to suport and thanks to PM I can do so. There are other options for medications that are called extended release meds, these might be something that a Pain Doctor might try on you. Medications along with a host of other treatments make life bearable for many people.

    As for the job, are you on Short term disability now if not apply for it so the long term will kick in if you need it. What kind of work do you do?

    Feel Better,


  • thanks for all your comment. just nice to converse with others in the same problems, I'm a fabricator, they had me running cnc sense last surgery,which is the easy job, but still have to lift and bend alot. when i told them the news about this surgery, they were like we gave you the easist job, we don,t know if we could use you.plan on talking to owners next week. see what happens. the surgery seems to went great, no soreness or numbness.he said hope fully the disc above that one hold for another year before another fusion, as far as thoracic disc, i read it's pretty evasive surgery. he said i need to stop all lifting and bending thats repetitive. can't set for longer than 20 mins or my hole back and hips seem to stiffen up,have to move around to loosen up.2 more weeks i'm back to doc see what happens, i hate the thought of disabilty. but i want to be able to walk with my grand kids. when i get some, not destroy my back more just to have more money.

    thanks for listening
    i feel better talking about it to others that have an understanding

  • I wish you could have time off to heal from your surgery so you could be better in the long run. Not sure if you have any short term benefits at work? Do see your Dr. about the depression if it's too much for you.

    I went out on short term benefits and I never went back to work 4 years ago but was fortunate to have benefits so I could get time off.

    What does your Surgeon think about returning to work so early after surgery? I know my job I could never go back to constant lifting, bending and twisting but really I had no choice I couldn't even get off the couch so I went out on disability. I was accepted for Government pension right away within 4 months at the age of 50. So disability look a lot at age and type of work you've done and how you're able to function at any job if any. You know your limits and if you have a union get their advice also as well as your GP Dr. to back you up and fill out the forms.

    Good to hear you're healing well and having less pain and hope you heal completely. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • thank you
    the company has put me on lay off, will cover insurance for 3 months,after that i'm on my own. do i file disabilty now while receiving unemployment. just scary to believe my body has had enough,i'm 47. but i want to have a life. not more money
  • I would apply for disability now. I know in the States things are different for how long you have to work and all but get the form and have your Dr. fill it out and send in all your surgery reports, MRI results, EMGs and x-rays.

    The forms are pretty detailed about how far you can walk and your day and what you're limited in doing. A good Dr. can pretty well fill out all your limitations. The only reason why if you feel you couldn't work again at any job especially one in which you have experience.

    I was 47 when I stopped working also but wasn't made to fill out for disability by the government until my insurance made me. But since you don't have any work disability insurance you will need some kind of health insurance also so sooner the better filling out for disability.

    You can post under Health Insurance issues and there's one member here who worked in disability for years who will answer your post hopefully but you should find the government website and get more information and forms sent to you. To me I look at it as I contributed to society and paid taxes and now disabled and very limited.

    It's good you get health benefits for 3 months so hopefully you can stock up on any meds, physiotherapy, Dr. visits and other benefits including dental to get it all done. Even if you apply for disability and for some reason if you do get better you do have an option to go back to work. Best wishes. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • i went to talk to work today they were happy my surgery went will,BUT if i come back and find out i can't do what they ask me to do,they don't need me.i can"t sit for longer than 10 min, can't stand for 8 hours and lift prototypes,like they need me to do. just frustrating to here them say this,been there 18 yrs. just got to move on, and manage my back. thanks for listening
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