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New here and need advice..

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone,
i am new here. I am a 34 year old female. I have a bulging disc at C6-C7, which is the result of a work related injury. I also have a Arnold Chiari Malformation and a cervical syrinx. I had surgery for the Chiari about 4 months ago. i am having a hard time with my workers comp insurance. For the past 18 months, I have been having neck pain, terrible muscle spasms along my right shoulder blade. I actually have 2 knots in my rhomboids that will not relax. I have occasional tingling in both hands and pain that radiates down the back of my right arm. My pain was alot better when I was out for my chiari surgery, but as soon as i returned back to work my pain has gotton increasinglly worse. The NS i have been seeing is now trying to blame my pain on the Chiari since the bulging disc is minimal. I have not had an MRI since April. He refuses to do surgery and now wants me to take a FCE and settle. I know this will only get worse and I dont know what to do. I am working full time, but sometimes its all I can do to get through the week. I mean, what if I need surgery in the future?? Who is gonna pay for that? I am so frustrated. Any advice would greratly appreciated :)



  • First let me say welcome to spine health. Work comp is so much harder to work with than a standard insurance company. They like to close the cases which in turns leads to poor medical care. I guess the first thing i would ask is are your represented by a attorney? Typical if you have a minor injury a attorney is not warranted. However in your situation my concern is this should you have another injury is are they going to tell you that you have pre-existing condition and not cover it since it has been documented. Is the surgeon you are seeing a work comp doctor or did you choose the surgeon? I'm not sure what state you are in but go to your state's website and read up on the laws of your state. See if your state offers life time medical and how reasonable is to obtain this. You are correct they are looking to settle when ordering a FCE. The can get really tricky on the FCE in at that you maybe able to do the things being required but the question is the pain that you feel after doing those test. Another question i have is have you made it back to full duty or are your working light duty? You need to make sure the neck issues are added in the case for future payments. Anyway welcome to spine health and keep us posted.
  • Thanks for the welcome!,
    No I do not have an attorney, but I ahve been looking into getting one. I live in North Carolina. I am working full time, but I have work restrictions. I have to take several breaks throughout the day and no lifting anything over 10 lbs. I work in the medical field and my job can be physically demanding. My NS is one that workers comp sent me too. i have demanded a second opionion, but they have denied me this. Is it not my right to have a second opinion?? The NS told me that he could give me a 5% disability rating. Supposedly the highest for a neck injury in NC is 15%. Dont really know what kind of money value that would be. I dont really care about the money, I just want someone to be responsible for this! I was told that I have 2 years after I settle, that if I needed surgery it would still be covered by WC. So say that I need surgery for the disc 3 years later, is my private insurance going to deny paying for it because it was a WC injury?? I am really concerned about this :S
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  • Hi De,

    Welcome to Spine Health. Did they determine if you had the Chiari before the accident or was it somehow a result of the accident? What kind of work do you do? Is it possible that the stress from work has gotten your neck and shoulder muscles tighter? Are you able to relax them at all? I think tamtam has some great advice. Be careful not to let the stress of the situation make your muscles tighter. I like to use moist heat or a hot tub to relax my neck and shoulder muscles.

  • Hi,
    the Chiari was something that I was born with. I never even knew I had it until they did my MRI back in January when they found the disc. I had surgery for it because if I ever needed surgery for the disc in the future, I was told that it could make my chiari symptomatic if I fixed the disc first. I am a ultrasonographer and my job is VERY repetitive. I have tried everything for the pain, moist heat, ice, TENS unit, trigger point injections and massage. I also take flereril, celebrex and percocet as needed. I hate taking meds! :sick:
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