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Back injections

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Pain Management
I have disc herniation at L-4-5 region with degenerative disc disease etc... This started 7 years ago with bulging disc, flare ups and complete low-back spasms that would put me out of commission for 5-7 day's. I currently herniated the disc that was probably giving me all these problems and finally herniated under strain at work. I am a Firefigher and have been for 14 years. I am 35 years old. I have had to epidural eacha week apart and still having leg pain, and stiff back. Dr said if pain was still radicular he would do Scope-micro-disectomy. Does anyone know what outcomes of this could be. I am worried if I have surgery that if I continue in my Labor Job of firefighting, I will either re-herniate or cause further damage. Should I have the surgery? Will I need a lifestyle change to keep back safe?? By the way, I'm dealing with Work Comp..any help on that and what they will reccommend?? any help would be great

Midwest area /:)


  • sink- I believe there are some firefighters that post here and they may be able to answer the work issue.
    I've had injections in the past for lumbar area and they did not help me although the cervical ones did. I think it is different for each person. Hope the injections help..jade
  • sink,
    I wasn't a career guy, but have been in public safety since 1988 (FF, medic, batt-chief for search & rescue and 911 dispatcher through that entire time until 2004). After leaving the fire service as a volunteer (NOT due to injury but because I moved from the district) I find that I cannot get back in because I am unable to pass the physical agility tests. At this point I know I'd be unsafe for other FF's (or even the public) because I would not be able to do what I needed to do in a fire. I switched my focus to search & rescue as part of the command staff and as an instructor, but I have stepped down from that as well. I'll be the first to tell you that not being able to participate with my comrades is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with. Friends & family are very supportive but that really only goes so far. (Some of those friends I had served with 20 years ago and are still firefighters today.)

    My problem is a recurring L5-S1 annular tear (at least twice now) causing sciatica in my left leg, the numbness, tingling and feeling of electricity in my leg and foot strong enough that at times I couldn't feel if my foot was even touching the floor. The doc says that because of this disc problem my facet joints are doing more work causing facet joint syndrome L4-L5-S1. It's only been in the last year that they've definitively diagnosed anything with me; being a medic I was always hesitant to have any treatment for myself when I didn't know what the problem was! I'm on Lyrica and Valium, which make me think slower and givse me some short-term memory issues, but at least I can feel my feet and can sleep. I've had an ESI and facet injections with some relief, on the 15th I'm going in for an RF Rhizotomy. If it is as effective as the test injections I received then I'll enjoy the ability to get in and out of chairs or my car without the pain and hopefully do some PT to strengthen the core muscles. The doc thinks that'll take care of the facet issue. The disc is another story. It's currently half the size it used to be at most.

    I would definitely talk to your doc about the implications of the procedures on your career. I've told my docs from day one that my goal is to get back into the fire service, as a volunteer but still as a front line firefighter. We're still not sure that's ever going to happen. Every time we talk about treatment alternatives, I always discuss how they would affect my goals, it keeps everyone on the same page and helps in deciding how to proceed.

    Sorry that doesn't go real far into answering your questions, my issues are not WC. But I certainly understand where you're coming from!
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