I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease when I was 17. Here I am at 27 with L5/S1 90% degenerated, what's left of it is torn and herniated and L4/L5 is also herniated and starting to degenerate. The pain radiates down my left leg and more often than not, leaves me in bed, in tears. I have done physical therapy, traction, epidurals, medial nerve blocks, OTC meds, narcotic and non-narcotic pain meds. I have exhausted all of my non-surgical options according to my spine and pain management doctor. He referred me to a neurosurgeon who suggested a fusion at L5/S1. Great, surgery was scheduled in June 2015 for September 2015. My insurance company waited until 2 days before the surgery to call and say they were denying it because it was deemed "not medically necessary". The decision was appealed and after a peer to peer review of the case, was still denied. At the end of September I went to see a different surgeon, to get another opinion for the insurance company. He told me that there was "no way in hell" he would do a fusion on me when I could benefit from a much simpler procedure of a disc replacement. I was elated. This surgery was 45 minutes as opposed to 4 hours, 4-6 weeks off work as opposed to 12-16, the chances of me needing surgery again later in life are pretty much cut in half compared to the fusion. So, we scheduled the disc replacement. It was submitted to my insurance company on December 9. They literally did nothing with the request, didn't even put it into their system until one month later. Here we are less than a week to the scheduled date of surgery and they are denying this procedure because they "don't pay for spine surgery when you have degenerative disc disease".
I am in danger of losing my job because of the number of times I have been forced to call in because of the pain (even with a doctors note it gets counted against you). I feel completely helpless, totally screwed by my insurance company, and I am losing my mind. Recently, I've started experiencing anxiety attacks because of the amount of pain and stress I feel on a regular basis. I do not know what else to do.