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Back pain returned 15 yrs after Fusion


I was injured on the job back in 2001.  The injury affected L4-L5 level.  I tore the disc and had a bulge.  They did a fusion.  I have been fairly pain free until just recently. 

I am a special education teacher.   Last month,  I was again injured on the job.  A student dropped her weight which caused a sharp pain in my back.  I let it go and thought time would improve it. I was wrong.  It got worse.  It hurts to walk, bend, and move from sitting on the floor to standing.  The pain is in my back and goes down my right leg.  I also get pin pricks and tingling.  The pain is quite intense.  They have me on antiinflammatories and pain medications.

I started PT and I am scheduled to see an Orthropedic spine surgeon on Tuesday.  They did an MRI and it showed a central annular fissure protrusion superimposed on small disc bulge confined to ventral epidural fat.  Nerve root was not compromise.  This was at L5-S1 level.

So what does this mean?  I had something similar at L4-5 level back in 2001 and it resulted in a fusion.  I am scared that we are looking at another fusion.





  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,037
    edited 03/02/2018 - 1:41 AM

    Please don’t drive yourself crazy over what-if statements when you haven’t even seen the surgeon yet. 

    It’s good you have a lawyer in case WC blames your new injury on your old injury.

    They may be playing nice so far but that might not always be the case.

    A radiologist saying no nerve root impingement might be [edit] because a radiologist is not a spine specialist.

    My doctor said nerve root impingement is not always easy to spot on an MRI and therefore I’m glad you’re having an actual orthopedic spine doc review your MRI.

    Good luck at your appmt next week. Please keep us posted.

    Edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator To remove vulgar language

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