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  • I am so sorry to hear about this. I am new here & unfortunately don't have any advice, but certainly hope there is something you can get done about this, especially in this political climate of health care reform. It's criminal that AIG is second guessing this issue. I was recently diagnosed with severe degenerative spondylolisthesis myself & while I thankfully don't have CES, I experience extreme sciatica and lower back pain. I am still in the process of seeing if pain management will help, but all of the advice I've received so far is that if you can't get the pain managed, and most definitely when you have CES, there really isn't any option other than surgery. Is fusion the only viable surgery? Wishing you the very best...
  • that have CES would be a reason to have an emergency appeal oon your insurance. It is something that is serious and needs to be taken care of. Call your Dr and ask them if they can or your insurance agent can request a emergency appeal based on this condition. Good Luck
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  • Hi Nate,

    Well, you sure got the short end of the stick, and I am very sorry about that. You are right, it is important to get all the info you can about your surgeon. A good place to start is a medical Library (if you are close to a university) but maybe the regular library van help too. There Are large volumes with the qualifications of all physicians, by state and speciality, here you will find out if he is board certified. But if you call his office, they should tell you also, or you can try the state medical board. As far as if there are any disciplinary actions against him, you can do an internet search, typing in his name, or even "medical disciplinary actions". I don't remember exactly in what order I did it, but it was relatively easy.

    As far as the WCB or insurance issue, try to go to the Main Forum, then under "More Support" got to "Health Insurance Issues". I think you will find that thread useful.

    Good luck!

  • Hi everyone, well what do you know?! On the day I receive the Denial Letter from the insurance company, my attorney calls me while I have letter in hand and tells me that they decided approve my surgery. Don't know what was said but I'm thinking the fact that their own hired gun, IME, also stated that I needed surgery helped my cause and really contradicted what their occupational medicine doctor was stating.

    At any rate, my doctor will be calling me on Monday to get my surgery scheduled. I about as nervous as a 'hooker' (male or female) in church if I can use that expression.

    Thanks to everyone for their wonderful advice and support. I will keep everyone posted on how everything goes as I am able.

    Baltimore, MD resident
    Decompression and L4-S1 fusion with instrumentaion (pending)
  • Nate, it is a crap shoot as far as recovery. I was told to take at least 3 months off of work but was released in 6 weeks with minimal restrictions. Do you homework, take your vitamins, stay in shape and keep asking questions here and it will go easier.

    Good luck
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  • I had a three-level and, while it was its own slice of hell, I can honestly say I'm a LOT better now that I'm nearly a year out. The recovery is long and hard, but you will probably feel better afterwards. If you can't straighten up, lie down comfortably, sit comfortably, etc., you most likely need to have those nerves decompressed and get your back stabilized. I certainly don't miss the extreme jolts of pain down my leg when I tried to walk and I can now walk without a cane. I know I'll always have to be careful, but life is back to good and getting better.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • My wife is talking about taking off 3 or 4 weeks using her time through FMLA, (essential personnel with State of MD, good thing as she's not subject to layoffs or furloughs). I don't want her to take any unnecessary time off and not have the time she wants or needs for other things and events.

    Did any of you need to have someone with you after you were discharged from the hospital and if so, for how long until you could comfortably and safely take care of necessary things on your own?
  • Asolutely! I can't imagine not having someone with me for the first week at least. I needed help because it is is difficult to get up and down, take care of personal issues, remember meds, prepare food, etc. I was glad I had someone to keep an eye an me as I got my legs back under me - I had stairs to deal with. I know some people do it alone but why wouldn't you if your wife has FMLA? You're the best reason I can think of for her to take leave. Let her do this for you. You will be glad she is there!
  • Hello Friends,
    It's been almost a month since I had my surgery on my spine. The Neurosurgeon did a Laminectomy, Forminotomy, Discectomy and a Fusion of the L4-L5 & L5-S1. I spend 2 nights in the hospital and it's been slow going since I got discharged. I've been having severe pain bouts and the Percocet doesn't offer any form of relief, my night table looks like a Pharmacy with different pain relievers that are useless to me. The doctor prescribed me a steroid call Methyl-Prednisone, what the doctors don't tell you about this medication is that it does work but it also has severe side affects. The side affect associated with this drug is that it can trigger an onset of diabetes (an early onset if you are already in the risk category due to family history, that's me).

    I've been going to the bathroom about 3-4 times and hour, not getting any sleep because of how often I was awake. My wife took me to the hospital and they checked my blood work and told me I had a 579 mg sugar level in my bloodstream. They sent me to the ER and they monitored me for a while and kept giving me these God forsaken finger sticks to ensure that my sugar level was coming back down (on average your sugar level should never exceed 120).

    My lower back is in agony (both sides now) and there is pain in my right hip and leg and my right foot has been asleep and/or numb feeling since the surgery back on October 23rd. I have to wear a back brace if I'm not lying down. I can't sit down for more than 1/2 an hour before I'm in pain, unfortunately, lying down causing me all kinds of excruciating pain as well.

    My doctor said I needed the surgery because of the condition my back was in after my injury at work, but wow! It's actually like I traded one problem for another.
  • I'm glad to see you're on the other side of surgery - I was wondering about you. But I'm so sorry that the recovery has been so rough.

    I know it seems like you take two steps forward then one step back, but that's the nature of spine surgery.

    Have you had any follow-ups with your surgeon? What do they say about the pain you're in now?

    I'm having either a PLIF or TLIF on Jan 6 (depends on what they see when they get in there) and it will be my first lumbar surgery. Mine is only one level, but it's scary, as you very well know.

    I hope that your doc says you're progressing normally and that your pain levels decrease as the weeks go by.

    Take care and keep us posted.
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