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Would like some advice.

teresac87tteresac87 Posts: 2
edited 08/26/2013 - 7:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had a spinal fusion at c4-c5 and c6-c7 about 3 years ago because of DDD, a "narrowing" of the area(not sure what that means but that is what is on my medical records) and a bone spur. I am still feeling a lot of shoulder pain as well as my right forearm (which was stronger than my left before the surgery) feels a lot weaker and feels pain when i lift anything more than 5 pounds. I recently saw a pain management specialist and got a cortisone shot on the right side because of developing arthritis in the sections that aren't fused. it helped for about 4 months and I am now starting to feel the pain again. Would I qualify for disability? back in 2010 i got denied when my surgeon tried to put me on it I think because of my age being so young. I am now 26 and dealing with all of this pain. I work as an admin assistant so my job is very sedentary so I have to get up every hour just to stretch and walk around.I have a doctor appointment with a new neurosurgeon because my pain management doctor said that he wouldn't suggest disability because in his words "people generally get worse on disability"..I'm not really sure what my other options are.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Edit: forgot to add that I have already been to physical therapy twice in the last 3 years but my insurance at the time only covered 6 visits at a time and those didnt really help with the range of motion in my neck or strength in my arms


  • downinmyheartddowninmyheart Posts: 497
    edited 08/26/2013 - 4:57 AM
    To hear a doctor say something like "people generally get worse on disability" Argh!!!!

    Good luck, darlin,

    One Love,

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • teresac87tteresac87 Posts: 2
    edited 08/27/2013 - 10:02 AM
    here's an update on what the neurosurgeon said. So, i brought my medical records and my most recent x-rays that show where i was fused but she didnt even bother to look at any of those. she said that looking at x-rays aren't in her specialty. Then, she suggested that i do physical therapy (for the 3rd time) to strengthen my right arm, and that i should go back to my pain management doctor to schedule another shot. Im dreading having to get shots for the rest of my life.
  • Hi
    First off you need to do everything you can to stay mobile and work if you can.
    My insurance only covers approx 12 PT sessions a year. When we have major issues we need more and on a regular basis. I go to a pool class put on through the artritis foundation.
    Twice a week and the fee is only $35 for every six weeks.

    Now my take on Disability
    Disability should be the last resort.. It really limits your income and what you can do .
    Most part time jobs pay more then the average disability check.
    I fought doing the disability for almost five years then had no choice because any work was making me worse.
    Disability is not easy to get and will be reviewed every two to seven years depending on why you get it. You will have to prove that not only you can't do your job but also you can not do any other job. This is hard to do and back issues alone are the largest class for.denials .
    If your working it's hard to prove you can't work. Even if you are working but it causes you so much pain it's not worth it your still working proving you can work.
    Many people applying for.disability are off work many years before they get anything.
    Explore all your other options before going down that road. Trust me if you can get injections every three to four months and work you are much better off then going the disability route

    Explore all treatments before considering this and at your age it is harder to get approved.
    If interested PM me I will get you the name of a website that can help answer your questions and give you some ideas on how long you will go before getting anything.

    Keep in mind you can have five surgeons say your disabeled and not meet the requirements for disability.

    Good Luck
  • The fact that injections work to manage the pain , for several months, and that there are many other options that you have not explored as of yet ,to manage the pain is not a good enough reason to go on disability. There are still many other options for you to try before considering disability . Physical therapy is always a good option, no matter how many times someone is sent for it. There are always more excercises or different treatment modalities that can help to reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles in the injured areas.
    Work environments make accomodations for employees who have medical conditions and you having to get up and walk around every hour is a minimal one that should be part of your job anyway.
    As Rick said, there is a big difference in not being able to do /not wanting to do the job you are currently doing and not being able to do any job, which is what the standards are for someone to qualify for disability.
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