My name is George and I am 41 years old and I hope some one out there has some ideas for me... Thanking you in advance
I have been diagnosed with rediculopathy, degen, disc disease.
January of 2008 I had severe and excruciating pain in my low back radiating down my legs that left me totally sidelined, flat on my back. After an MRI scan it was obvious that my L5-S1 disc was torn. As per my orthopedic doctor at that time I began a series of 4 cortisone (steroidal) painful shots to my hips, after no success there, my doctors then began cortisone epidurals to the L5-S1 low disc. I had approximately 12 over a 16 month period of time, with minimal relief. Sometimes I could get up to 2 weeks relief, and other times no relief at all…
After exhausting all minimally invasive options, my orthopedic surgeon then informed me that I was a perfect candidate for a full disc replacement surgery. He stated further that if he were me, he would not settle for anything less. Unfortunately, my insurance company (Independence Blue Cross) deemed this option as exploratory, and after two (full) three tier refusal appeals they (Blue Cross) denied my surgeons advice and just flat out refused to cover a full disc replacement period. My Orthopedic surgeon at the time seemed to loose interest in my case and my appeal. Believe it or not, this was the only in network surgeon I could find in my area.
Still in a lot of pain, and unable to work, I had no choice but to go out of network to find a new orthopedic surgeon. This new orthopedic surgeon was not so friendly, not at all, but, his surgical reputation was very good, despite his definite God complex. Anyway, he ordered a nerve conduction test, and that’s when we discovered that I had definite nerve damage in addition to the bad L5-S1 disc.
The new ortho surgeons plan was an L5S1 discectomy, fusion, with instrumentation. The surgery was anterior and posterior, so I was cut on both sides, and suffered urine retention for the first 5 days post surgery.
It’s been about 5 months or so since surgery, and while the old pain in my back is definitely reduced, the pain and spasms in my hips and down my legs is insane and constant. I have completed 5 months of physical therapy and still have this pain in my hips and legs. Its so tender to even just sit down on my butt. And even then I can only do it for a short time… Blue Cross says no more physical therapy period.
At my 4 month post surgical visit or check up at the surgeons office which ever you call it, I began to explain this all to my surgeon. His response was shocking.. His reply was to point at the xray of my back showing the fusion and then he said that the fusion is beginning to take, which is a good sign and therefore I have lived up to my end of the deal. He never addressed any (not one) of my additional issues or concerns regarding the hip and leg pain..
Two weeks ago, my long term disability carrier (Prudential) cut my benefit because although no doctor said I could go back to work, no doctor said I couldn’t, and that’s why they stopped my payments verbatim … There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am not ready to return to work.. Im lucky if I can stand for more then 15 minutes at a clip, and I cant sit for much longer either.
What am I gonna do?