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Still having issues after Second set of injections - Surgery?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Spinal Injections
I really need to find the quickest way to get back to work! I am still having issues after my second set of injections at the L3-4 L4-5 levels. I had 4 injections on the second round, 2 at each level, with flouroscopy. Sciatic pain so far is relieved (had the injections last Wednesday), but still have the numbness in lower legs and feet, also my gait issues and bowel/bladder control issues have gotten a lot worse, (My doc knows about this). I am still having lower back pain. I am going to get tested for MS in February, as my brother and father both were diagnosed and my doc wants to rule it out as a cause of the gait changes and bowel/bladder issues.
Right now I am on vacation in Sedona, AZ, and yesterday we went out for an easy hike and I was weaving and tripping so badly I didn't get very far before I had to turn back. I used to be able to hike miles and miles for days on end. I didn't get tired, but just couldn't navigate stones and slight shifts in terrain :( . Today we went window shopping in Sedona as I love to look at the artwork in the galleries. I even had problems with stairs and level sidewalks!
I work at a county hospital. My work involves having to be able to lift 50 pounds occaisionally and less than 10 pounds constantly, with constant bending, twisting, walking and standing for 10 hour shifts.
My doc said if this round of shots didn't last he could do a minimally invasive surgery to open up the areas where the nerves are being affected. It wouldn't involve any fusion, so I am wondering what kind of surgery he might do, and how long I might have to be out from work. I only have about 6 weeks FMLA job protection left, and after that I might be able to get a 30 day leave of absence, after that I am SOL. They have done a lot of cutting back at my place of employment because of the economy, and cuts in state spending. They are not filling vacant positions or authorizing overtime, so am worried they may consider me a way to cut back if they let me go as I am one of the highest paid tech positions. I hurt my back at work so this is all through Workman's Comp. I have been doing my type of work for 30 years now and am very good at what I do, and have promoted to a more supervisory position, but am still expected to be able to do the heavy work if someone calls off. It is just in my job description. I have not paid into Social Security for 6.5 years as my job is considered a county position, but I have all my SS points. What is the chance of getting on disability if I get the axe? I am 52 and have never worked outside of my current occupation, and will loose my home and the retirement benefits I would have gotten had I been able to stay employed.
Would the surgery be the quickest way to get back to work full duty? I don't have time to keep getting injections if they don't work! :S


  • I was reading your post and a red flag went up, when you said you were having bowel and bladder issues. I know everything I read said when that happens surgury is usually needed. If not done promptly nerve damage can occur. I also know that I actually went to hospital because I had lost some feeling down there and could not feel when I had to urinate. After talking to the neurosurgeon he had the impression that my bladder/bowel problems were due to all the pain meds and muscle relaxers I had been taking. He was correct, if I stopped taking the pain meds... the sensations came back. But if I were you I would definately tell your doctor about the bladder/bowel issues ASAP. Just to rule out the more dangerous nerve damage. I am going for my third Epidural in a week. The first did nothing the second helped some, hoping third times a charm. Good luck.
  • Hello Pamlee,

    Lizard is RIGHT ON!!!

    Your condition requires immediate attention, like today. The rule of thumb is when you have bowel and bladder issues you have no more than 48 hours in which to have surgery, or you can have permanent damage to your nerves.

    Please get to an ER today after you have called your doctor. And if you can't make contact with your doc, then off to the ER.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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