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3 surgeries, 28 years old, Doc says 100% disabled

After suffering from acute DDD and having a spinal fusion on the lower back I've heard the dreaded words " 100 percent disabled".

I had 4 level fusion on my back 1 year ago and never recovered well. My orthopedic surgeon referred me to a reputable neurosurgeon for a second opinion. After a physical exam and viewing my MRI images he says I am 100 percent disabled. I have a lot of problematic scar tissue and permanent nerve damage in the left leg, along with chronic back pain. He says any further surgery would cause more suffering than relief.

Bittersweet news though. I'd seen this coming for a long time when I couldn't be fixed after 3 surgeries. I'd filed for disability just to get process started just in case. As y'all probably know, winning a disability case can be a long tuff road when applying for back problems. Especially at my young age. The doctor was very sure I would win my case after his exam of me and my condition. I guess it will be hard for social security to argue with a top notch neurosurgeon who says I'm disabled.

But who wants to be disabled at 28??? Such a hard blow for a young man with his whole life ahead of him. Yet I'm relieved I can win my case without a battle with SS. DDD is a terrible medical condition and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

And I hope this doesn't start a disability debate. But I think SS should take these back ailments more seriously. Without a healthy back the whole body is handicapped. Lots of folks suffering with chronic back problems and being denied disability benefits who really need it. Then you got people who fear spiders drawing checks. Kinda makes me sick


  • I also have failed back surgery syndrome, That's what they call it when no more surgery can fix it as there is nerve damage also involved , Sorry your surgery also backfired on you same as it did for me,

    But make sure DDD is not all that's used as your issue as DDD means not much to ssdi as many people have DDD and live normal life, Report will have to provide proper finding of the nerve related issues after failed back surgery so it's easier for them to understand it's not just DDD,

    What medications do you take to manage the pain ?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    being told you are 100% disabled. Once everything settles down, I hope you can look into different things that you still can be 100% productive.

    But as Alex mentioned, DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) is so very common. Almost every person will show some signs of it by the time they reach 25. It really is the aging of our spine, like our hair turning gray.
    Most DDD patients successfully manage it through an approved exercise program and over the counter NSAIDs.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I've also been told multiple times by various doctors, "Have I considered SSI, I qualify, etc." And yet I have two small children at home and a full time career. Don't ever under estimate determination. I'm not saying you could continue your current (or last) job, but you are on line... why not consider taking some online courses and possibly training for a non-physical career? I understand that you might not be able to take a job or go to a college where attendance is required daily, but there are options. You could get a part time job at home.... or you could establish a good repor with online professors who know your situation and can be flexible on due dates if necessary. Yes, you might have to take SSI for now, but it DOES NOT have to be permanent, that is up to you. And besides... although you might have daily uncontrolled pain now, you don't have to resign yourself to a life in bed just yet.... technology and medicine only improves every day. And I'd like to make the disclaimer that this isn't a judgement in anyway against people on SSI, I'm just saying... stay positive. And on a side note, if you do qualify for SSI, there are lots of assistance to help you pay for online classes, and those classes might give you something other than pain to focus on and could encourage you both emotionally and physically.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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