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What should I do?

Nd Brief summary had l5s1 microdiscectomy 8/2009, re-injured the site on 11/2009 at work. Workers comp approved surgery a year later. 11/2010 I had l5s1 disc fusion with cage and screws. I have life time medical. Started working for a new company 10/2012 and I have to do repetitive bending and lifting. Needless to say my back is killing me now. Had an appointment with work comp doctor thru life time medical and says that l4l5 is severely deteriorated. My file time medical insurance might not cover (very good chance). Should I wait and find out and keep pushing myself at work or report an injury? If I report an injury how do I go about it, it didn't just happen it gradually happened. Sorry for the wall of text.


  • You've obviously endured chronic back problems for quite some time and had surgery in 2009, reinjured your back 3 months later at work and then had invasive surgery in 2010. Then you start work in 2012 and have now reinjured yourself again. I'm just wondering.............

    1. Are you working for the same company?
    2. If so, were you aware of the repetitive bending and lifting involved before you started?
    3. Were you ever given training in lifting and handling, health and safety etc.?
    4. Was a risk assessment ever done for you?
    5. Were your employers aware of your past back problems/surgery before you started?
    6. Is there a deadline for reporting your predicament?

    I don't know where in the world you are, but in the UK, there usually is an 'Accident or Incident Report Book' where you can report anything that affects your health, safety and wellbeing (whether that is from personal injury, abuse or physical assault - that sort of thing).

    Do you have a Union representative who you can chat with and get some further advice on this?

    I'm no expert, but it sounds like your current duties could be contributing to your recent increase in back pain and, if so, you should be looking to protect yourself from doing any possible further harm. If you do report it officially, do you think your employer would then assess your situation and hopefully put in some "reasonable adjustments" to support you while you recover and continue to work (i.e. reduced hours, lighter duties). However, if you don't report it, and months down the line it is proved that your job was the only cause of your current flare-up, then it might be too late by then to take any further action if there is a deadline.

    I hope you get some more people contributing on this - as they may have more experience/advice than I. Take good care because without looking after yourself properly and protecting your back, you might find difficulty maintaining such a physical job in the long term. Unfortunately, this IS something I know about because I've gone from working full time, down to 29 hours, and more recently down to 22 hours per week - and I've been off sick from work since the end of November - all because of my back. This reduction in hours has been over 3 years and I'm due for my sixth back operation in a couple of weeks.

    Will you let us know what you decide in the end and how you get on? Good luck.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Sorry. I've just seen that this is a new job, so number 1 doesn't apply.

    There's another thing to consider - I can only speak about my own experience, of course, but the medication I take for chronic back pain I'm sure often hinders my ability to concentrate at work. Are you also on strong medication? If so, is your employer aware of this - do you even have to divulge this information? Does any medication you [may] take affect your ability to do your work effectively? Could your employer see you as a liability to others in the workplace?

    So many questions, sorry, but these were some of the things I have had to consider over the years and be prepared for.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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