I just found out today that I have an L4/L5 grade 4 annular tear. Back pain started in 2009 but initial MRI showed nothing (later I learned I was misdiagnosed, they missed a tear that second opinion found)
So because "nothing" was found I was sent to land PT for 6 weeks and them home PT. nothing worked so I went back to same doctor and he literally told me to lose weight knowing I could barely move. He didn't even offer injections or a pain therapist and only would give me ultram for the pain.
Well fast forward to 2011 and I have had 3 ESI's, facet blocks, and left and right side rhizotomies. Pain doctor thinks something else must be wrong and so sent me for a second MRI Dec 2011. This one finds a high intensity zone/ tear so pain doctor refers me to neuro surgeon.
I see Neuro doc in December, he orders aqua therapy but believes surgery is needed. So we try one last time and 6 weeks later I am worse so he ordered a discogram April 3.
I just got the results today that I have a grade 4 annular tear. One of the surgeries we discussed pre tear findings was an ALIF. I need to know or at least have an idea about what I should do for my work as far as leave/ PTO.
Currently I work from home (have since 2010) as a software engineer so I do not have a physical job. I know everyone's recovery is different but I am looking for a range so that I can plan whether or not to use short term disability or if 2 weeks PTO is a "are you kiddin me?" option. I figure I need the short term disability but wanted to get some opinions.
Again, I know everyone is different but what I am looking for here is an average of what maybe your doctor told you or personal expience after this type of surgery.
Thanks and sorry for the long post!