I am a 34 year old reasonably healthy male well with the exception of my back. Anyway I had a work injury in December of last year (2014) I work for a moving company and was lifting a heavy table and ended up herniating my L4/L5, L5/S1 discs, and went through 3 months of therapy and rest and pain meds and had no success or relief. So at the end of April I had a double microdiscectomy and a laminectomy and a few other things done. I was excepting a fast recovery but wasn't the case, just over a month into recover I was still in the same pain I had before surgery (leg, groin, butt and back pains) So my doctor ordered a MRI and low and behold the discs had reherniated within a few weeks of surgery, and I have instability in the area too my spine shifts and pops. So I went back to PT and did that for 2 more months until my primary doctor withdrew his support. My neurosurgeon said the next best step would be a 2 level fusion PLIF and even though I don't like the idea of having a fusion we agreed mutually that it was our best option to get a good recovery.
So now my workers compensation wants be to go see two multidisciplinary pain management doctors for a 2-3 hour session which is in Portland (2 hours away from me) My question is this, will they be able to override what my primary doctor and neurosurgeon say (they both support a lumbar fusion) Being these pain management doctors are chosen by the workers compensation I am wary that they are going to say I am fine and go back to work, or as I feel my open claim is costing them too much money and they don't want to pay for a fusion and a hospital stay. And my job if/when I ever go back requires heavy lifting of 100-150 pounds every day 8+ hours a day. As my doctors have both said I won't be doing that ever again and if I do then I will be working on L3 herniation in no time.
And what can I expect from these pain management doctors? I have already done months and months of therapy, inversion, massage, tens units, going in the pool, cane for posture and a back belt and nothing. And not to mention 9 months of ibuprofen, aleve, oxycodone, flexural, endocet. No relief. I am worried they will demand me to have a spinal injection and I do not want that. Again both my doctors say that spinal injections have been show in studies to be very unreliable and can do more damage than good. If I decline a injection will I be seen as being uncooperative patient? Or can I state that I have a genuine fear that the treatment will cause more harm than good?
I have never been to a pain management clinic and just don't know what to expect especially since it's workers compensation and I know who they work for and DO NOT trust them. Sorry my post went long just a lot of unknowns.