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Need clarification and advice!

Mine is a workmans comp case and I'm laboring under the impression that that's the reason for my serious lack of information.

In June 2014 I slipped down stairs and ended up with a herniated disc.

First I was sent to a GP type dr. Who Told me I had a pulled muscle, after 4 to 6 weeks(I can't quite remember) pt and rx naproxen I went in for my follow up and told him I had gotten no relief, I was still having intense pain and numbness in both legs but no back pain. He referred me to an ortho surgeon and after some weeks waiting on approval from the insurance I was finally seen there.

The ortho dr. First did X-rays and seemed to find nothing from what I was able to understand but as I insisted that something was defiantly wrong he sent me to have an MRI anyway. The MRI reveled a small(ish) herniation at L2/L3 and a "golly whopper" herniation at L3/L4. Please don't judge my dr. On vocabulary I did ask for it in simple terms!

According to him my golly whopper herniated disc had crushed the spinal nerve column into the v shaped part do the vertebra to the point that the nerves weren't visible and to get relief from the pain I would have to have a laminectomy, the herniated part of the disc would be removed and I would have hardware put into place to stabilize my spine. He didn't think the smaller disc was causing any problems and was better left alone.

December 2014 I finally had surgery, but all didn't go as well as planned. The herniated part of the disc had calcified And he was unwilling/unable to continue to attempt to remove it for fear of doing more serious damage to the nerves. A few weeks at home then at follow up I had only mild relief from the pain and regained little to none of my mobility.

This is where things got completely BIZARRE. He ordered physical therapy to help with pain and mobility but took me off pain medication and released me to go back to work?!

Because of several issues with the insurance, which I won't go into here, I had an attorney. I was told by them that the insurance company was pressuring my dr. To do this. I'm unsure of the events that transpired between lawyer/dr./insurance co. But within 48 hours I was again out of work, though not back on pain meds and being sent for a CT scan to find out what was causing my ongoing issues.

Six months of no news, just waiting...

Finally I received a call from the attorney that I had an appointment with the surgeon. I was put on neurontin for the nerve pain, released to go back to work on light duty, and again am being sent for pt.

Meanwhile the dr. Tells me that pt may help with the pain and loss of mobility other than that my only option for relief is for them to go back and try to remove the calcified disc which according to him, is unlikely to help at all. Mind you this is exactly the surgery he wasn't willing to risk 9 months ago. There was no info on what, if anything, the CT scan might have told them.

The results were:

l2/3 - mild concentric disc bulge. Mild spinal canal stenosis.
l3/4 - central extrusion with overlying osteophyte extending 1.1cm causing moderate spinal canal stenosis. Draping of nerve roots over extrusion. Laminectomy/fusion with hardware at site.
L4/5 - mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. Draping of nerve root. Mild concentric disc bulge. 1.1 cm disc extrusion.
L5/S1 - disc extrusion extending left into lateral recess at 5mm, likely making subtle contact. Descending bilateral S1 nerve root on left is worse than right. Bilateral L5/S1 moderate neural foraminal stenosis secondary to osteophytes.
Signs of moderate DDD.

As for the L5/S1 disc extrusion I'm not sure if it was at 5mm or extending 5mm, there seemed to be a compatibility issue with the disk and my computer. At best I gathered as much as I could of disjointed backwards notes broken by what appeared to be code.

My pre op symptoms were intense debilitating pain in front and back of both legs and the back of my heels and top of my feet and toes that was constant. Numbness in both legs around my shins. Burning on my right outer thigh that was constant and intermittent on my left. Weakness in both legs. Muscle spasms in lower and middle of my back. Intermittent burning and numbness of the front of both thighs. And severe throbbing pain in my left hip.

My post op symptoms are the same pain in both legs only now it is not constant but it is daily. The burning on my outter right thigh comes and goes, the burning on the left seems to be gone. The weakness is still persistent but not as bad. The muscle spasms seem to be gone, I honestly can't tell, everything hurts so where it's at and exactly what is causing it is anybody's guess. The burning and numbness in the front of both thighs is still the same and now the burning extends down to the top of my toes as well. The throbbing pain in my left hip is still there but much better.
Now I also have a throbbing pain in what I can only describe as where my right hip bone and tail bone meet. Constant knee pain, I'm fairly certain I now walk differently though I cannot describe how it's different. And I now have constant lower back pain.

I know it seems I've gone up the creek with a broken paddle and no map but if anyone can make heads or tails of any of this I would appreciate any thoughts.



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    that there are no medical professionals on the forum side of this site.
    Therefore, no one can provide you with any type of medical advice or direction.

    However, if I was in your shoes, I would seek a second opinion. You want to have at least two doctors agreeing with your condition and agree with the treatment.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I am sorry to hear you are dealing with so much pain. I have not experienced workers comp or surgery so I will not comment on either. However, I did want to respond to your post b/c I also know what it's like to deal with chronic pain and can offer my support. Life is harder when dealing with chronic pain but it can be managed and you can go on and still enjoy new experiences. I just recently became a member and will keep an eye on your post and I hope you stay active here and keep us informed as to what you are going through. Pain shared is pain lessened.

    P.S. I second Dilauro
    L5/S1 compressed disc, DDD
    Current med: Hydrocodone 10/325 5x/day
  • purplegirl34ppurplegirl34 Posts: 28
    edited 09/18/2015 - 3:32 AM
    Thanks for responding. I was hoping to reach someone who had the same or similar experiences with this condition or even workers comp. I will ask for another opinion but I've done that before to no avail. Maybe this time with the help of my attorney it will go better.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    than many others here. There are so many members here that deal with workman compensation cases so that is well versed.

    Unless your insurance company will not allow you to seek a second opinion, what will the attorney bring to the table?

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I had asked for a second opinion just after my surgery because I thought it was very strange to be taken off pain meds and put into pt to help the pain on the same day. The insurance never denied a second opinion they simply didn't respond to my request for it. It's one of the many issues I've had with them. They neither answer nor return any communication from myself, nurses, etc. it's why I had so much trouble being sent to the ortho dr in the first place. The only time I've ever heard from them my case rep was irate and short with me apparently because she finally had to answer questions about how I was to fill out their paperwork. It's been since then that I've gotten an attorney and like I said I have no idea what happened between them but the insurance sent me a letter letting me know they would no longer be talking directly to me , information would now be passed along through my lawyer. I know it sounds like that would just slow things down and it's a backwards way of getting things done but it ended up being a lot more productive that way. I think if I want another opinion now I actually have to go through my attorney to get it. If I'm wrong about that I'm sure they will point me in the right direction.
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