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Venting....Sorry very long winded...

More of a vent then a question…A little background…

I was injured on the job in 2006 with injuries to cervical, thoracic and lumbar. T3-T4 was crushed where the Doctor has called it an involuntary induced partial fusion that he is not going to touch unless it leads to problems with paralysis, bowels, etc. I went through numerous shot procedures and therapy for lumbar and cervical. In May 2010, I developed foot drop in my right leg and subsequently had a lumbar foraminotomy at L4-L5 to correct. In December 2010, I had a cervical foraminotomy of C5-C6. With no relief from that procedure, I then had a cervical fusion in May 2011. The Doctor listed me as maximum medical improvement and my worker’s comp case was closed. I began going to a pain specialist to deal with the lingering pain. During that time, we have never truly found a medication regimen that touched the pain.
In February 2013, my case was reopened and I was sent back to the neurosurgeon. MRI’s done in May 2013 have revealed that I now have slippage of discs of L3-L4 and C4-C5. Neurosurgeon says that I will need fusions at both areas but will start with the conservative treatment needed to work up the surgery. Physical therapy has not worked. Sent for steroid injections, that has not worked. I go back September 18th to find out when I will have my next surgery. Now…here is where my problems have begun….
The pain specialist that I have been going to for the past 1 ½ years does not deal with workers comp. So the neurosurgeon sent me to a pain specialist of his choice and under workers comp. I called the office of my current PM with no return call. I go to the WC PM and that Doctor feels that my medication regimen is not sufficient and changes my meds. I was originally on just Percocet 10’s every 6 hours. The new PM changed it to Oxycontin 10mg 2 x a day and Roxicodone 15 mg every 6 hours. I immediately call my current PM and leave a message. I finally get a call back from the office manager, I explain the situation and the Doctor changing my meds and request an immediate appointment with the Doctor to explain all of this and see what he wanted to do. I was willing to continue to go to him and pay as long as he adjusted the regimen at the suggestion of the new PM. As my workers comp attorney says that I have to follow the orders of the new PM Doctor or be discharged from workers comp. The office manager had no desire to listen to me and tells me oh well, you have to wait until you regular scheduled appointment to speak to the Doctor. I explain that time is an issue and that I have to change the meds but before I did that, I really needed to speak to the Doctor. Nope. No can so…See you at your next appointment.
My attorney tells me I have no choice, I have to go by what the new Doctor is prescribing. If my current Doctor will agree to follow that regimen, I can still go to him but will have to submit copies of my scripts each month to workers comp to ensure that I am complying. No problem with that as I want to stay with my PM.
However, I now risk being discharged from my PM because of violation of the contract. This is the whole reason why I tried to get in to speak with him before anything was officially done!!! UGH!!!!
On top of that, after taking the oxycontin for 2 weeks, I find out I can’t take it anyway. I am a gastric bypass patient and I cannot absorb the time release medications like a normal person so it is a waste. My gastric bypass doctor suggested that I take a stronger instant release every four hours instead.
I am so darn confused!!!!!!!
Just had to vent as I have no idea what is going to happen next!!! I go to my current PM this week. 


  • This is a really interesting situation. I hope you'll update us next week after your appointment and let us know what the doctor says. I really like my PM doc and his staff is nice enough, but I get the feeling they can become somewhat heartless in no time flat!
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 920
    edited 08/30/2013 - 3:25 AM
    Your best bet is to do what the WC doc wants, but have your other docs coordinate with the WC doctor. I am a WC case as well and have handled my case on my own since it started. The key with staying in good graces with your WC carrier is to be compliant with their docs. That being said, you can see if you are allowed a second opinion that is covered by WC. Each state is a little different.

    In my case, my PM wanted me to be on NSAIDS early on in my treatment, but because I have heart disease, my Cardiologist said no way. I got a note from the Cardio and gave it to the PM and he was good with that.

    WC cases can be tough. Some doctors work well within the system and others are true "company doctors" that will do the cheapest treatment possible. I am blessed to have a wonderful WC carrier who has not denied anything over the past 7 years that was medically necessary. I'm glad you got an attorney though. Do what he/she advises in order to stay in good graces with the WC company. If you get labeled as "non-compliant", things can get difficult.

    Good luck!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Excellent, spot-on advice EMS guy.
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