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Neck surgery

hurtinhhurtin Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello, I have had three neck surgeries,I have 2 rods 4 plates and 16 screws in my neck. I have been a building inspector for over 15 years. I had to file for SSDI after I was rear ended last august 9 months after the posterior surgery.. I didn't get a lawyer to file with. I did it my self. I'm getting ready to turn 48. I am female and never had a clerical position. I'm on a lot of meds and the doctors put me out of work. I can't use my arms most days and I am in a lot of pain can't turn my head massive head aches etc... They went through the front twice and this last time in November 2010 through the back of my neck. I haven't heard back yet. DDS said I was in back log. has anybody else had these surgeries? did you get disability?



  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find a few of us with multiple surgeries, including myself. I am sure you discovered the posterior surgery is harder to recover from. As far as answering your SSDI question there are a few members here whom have gotten it. It all depends on wether your doctor's are supporting you in a favorable way or not, and additional a lot depends on the judge you get. The system is very back logged and wait periods can be upwards of two years. You might be assigned to a judge and need to go in front of the judge to explain your condition, and if that happens I would suggest that you get a lawyer. You don't need one yet, but if you get denied then I would suggest getting one also. Good luck and hopefully this will work out for you.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. As you become more acquainted with the site, you will see just how many nice people are here and, what I feel is the best part, really DO understand your pains, frustrations, fears, and all that goes along with the unknowns of chronic pain.

    You ask about Soc. Sec. Disability (SSDI). Here's my story: I applied for Soc Sec Disability Insur. (SSDI) in August 2008 after 6 years of chronic pain, many pain intervention procedures, and 2 cervical spine surgeries. I am now on a regiment of pain and other medications to relieve as much pain as it does. (Click on Rassy's Story) below. I lost my job in 2008 as well. It took me 19 months and 2 denials to finally be approved. No one can decide to what degree, if any you are disabled except the Social Security Admin. This is based on the information you and your medical providers furnish. I strongly suggest that if you are going to file for SSDI, go through an attorney from the get go. I waited until my second denial and then asked for legal assistance. It will seem like a lot of paperwork (image that?) and a long wait, but I truely feel that had I started with legal assistance, I may have been approved sooner. The Social Security website has all of the information you need about eligibility, filing, etc. Take a look and see what you think. Do a search on the web for Social Security Advocates in your area. Usually they'll answer a phone interview for no charge ... sometimes there is an email link within their websites to ask questions. Social Security and anything related are strictly overseen by the Federal Government only! No State Government input, No Attorney (or Advocate) at the top of the list. Just "The System" as we all know it ... "Hurry up and Wait!" Hope this helps. Good luck!


    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
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  • Thanks for the replies, yep this does suck. I am too young for this. When they went in through the back it was very very painful but.....Believe it or not my surgeon was Great. When I was rear ended it aggravated something back there and now after PT and multiple injections it still hurts pretty bad. The pain med's help take the edge off. They do not want to go back in again. I am just tired of hurting all the time as is everybody else. It's good to see other people with similar issues on here because I know they can relate. It does get depressing sometimes because it feels like the whole world is moving away while you are standing still. But hey...scars are survival tattoos. I'm a survivor. :)
  • Hi and welcome I am having an ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 and have spine issues since 2008 I lost my job in 2010 and applied for SSD in Feb, 2012 and was approved last week. I went to a disability lawyer and let them file for me and think that helped some but I also have other issues because I went to ground zero on 9/11/01 as a volunteer firefighter/emt and I was diagnosed with quite a few illnesses. I have sinus problems, severe grass and tree allergies along with asthma, I worked for a township and started having problems in 2002 every time I worked directly with trees and grasses. I worked with other males I can't say men because they would complain about certain jobs they didn't like and I was forced to work directly with trees and grasses all of the time. I averaged 12 sinus infections a year and starting in 2006 had numerous asthma attacks while working, even though I had seniority I was told by Teamsters Local 676 that seniority didn't apply to me, I was also accused of faking asthma attacks because "I didn't want to do certain jobs" and told by my supervisor "I was faking it just to make him look bad". Because of this I saved all of my doctors notes and emergency room visits and was able to give them to my attorney. I believe all of my health issues combined helped me and am sorry I can't give you a better answer all I can say is I called a law firm because I "CAN'T WORK". We are not allowed to recommend doctors, clinics or other professionals, any questions please send me a pm and I will help anyway I can. Please remember you are not alone here, this forum has plenty of human beings who not only understand the pain you are in and what you are going through but really do care. I have used this site as a release and complained on bad days and in turn support others on their bad days. Sorry for rambling, I feel bad for people who deserve help and don't receive it, for the first time since 2010 when I lost my job for something I didn't do and people lied and I had proof in their own words, but you can't fight "city hall" townships are allowed to lie and get away with it. Last week was the first time in two years I could actually relax for a few days. God Bless, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Hurtin...You and I have very similar stories...

    I've had 3 fusions as well...The same two levels each time...C5 through C7.

    First time they did Anterior and took bone from my hip and didn't put any hardware...

    Second time they used donor bone and hardware. This surgeon did a horrible job and I woke up in excruciating pain. Worse than before the surgery. The Dr. was such a jerk and berated me for needing pain medication in the hospital when I woke up!!! He said, "I only take Tylenol when I have a headache"...Let's just say I wanted to punch the guy...

    Thankfully I found my last Neurosurgeon who I just adore. When I found them my first appt. he hugged me and said, "We aren't going to let you live in such pain"...I cried.....

    So he went in both Anterior and Posterior and replaced all the hardware, donor bone, and used BMP as well. It was a tough, long, surgery, but they took great care of me.

    I know see the PM associated with this Spine Center...

    I am just starting the process of Disability but I think I waited too long to get SSDI so don't think I have the number of "credits" needed...so am going for SSI.

    I also have some other issues but the neck stuff is the primary problem.

    So I will be following your story as well....

    Keep us posted!

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  • My first recommendation is to keep every single peice of paper you get from your doctors. Ask for copies of the visit, make sure you get your own copies of any and all radiology reports!

    I first filed for SSDI in 2007 after my first surgery. I awoke in more pain than I ever had pre op and it never went away. I had short term and long term disability. Without that I don't know what I would have done. I was denied in 07 and the company representing me said that I should appeal the decision. But that I would have to pay for there services??? I lost my job, I couldn't work, so after staying home, going through all our savings, my husband had a 401K that we cashed. But that all only lasted us 2 years.

    So in 2009 I had no choice but to go back to work. I really damaged my neck. Not to mention my own self esteem, self worth as a nurse. I couldn't do the job anymore, I was accused of "not being a team player" I tried to explain how much pain I was in..... ya right they said.

    So after 1 year and 2 months, I couldn't do it anymore. The pain meds weren't helping any more, my tolerance was way up. I put myself into treatment, one that specializes in chronic pain. I met an awesome doctor who was able to fix half my problem. I won't go into anymore of that, as this topic is SSDI.

    I have been denied twice, I have been represented the whole time. I was told I was being denied for two reasons, one, my age 48 at that time, and I had a education so I could surely do something else. I am scheduled to go in front of the administrative Law Judge and I am asking not only for payments beginning from when I filed in 09, but also for back payments from 07. I have the same disability, I now have permanent nerve damage, getting ready to have a posterior reconstruction of C1, C2 and C2 has a fracture. It is very aggravating when one pays into the system for 35 years, and then when I needed it.....

    Don't give up, I do recommend making sure you have your own copies of everything. You know how things seem to get misplaced with the federal government. When I finally get approved, I will be getting 2 1/2 years back payment. And that doesn't include the other payments I am going to fight for.
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