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Stenosis and Disability



  • that could be the cause of the episodes, but there isn't any real way to know the degree or location of the stenosis, without having it evaluated by a spine surgeon.
    The worst thing you can do is lay in bed.......I know that isn't what you want to hear, but it's the truth. All laying in bed or any inactivity does is weaken an already weakened area of the body, and over time, leads to even more weakness, less stamina, and even more lessened physical activity.
    Did the doctor tell you if it was canal stenosis or foraminal? It does make a difference........do you have any areas of numbness or what feels like muscular tiredness or weakness in your legs?
    The local hospitals should have sliding scale clinics and doctors available in your area.......call them and ask them how to get in touch with the clinics.......even without health insurance, if you don't have the income or insurance, there are still options for treatment available .
  • I'm 56 years old and have worked since 18, 25 of which have been in the retail fine jewelry business. This past December, I went to shower for work and bent to retrieve my clothes when I was struck by excruciating pain in my back and right leg.
    To make a long story short, my femoral head has degenerated to the shape of an egg and I have mild to moderate stenosis in L3-4 and L4-5. They've also discovered COPD.
    I haven't had an operation since age 4 for tonsils and have had 2 stays in the hospital for a total of 3 days. My brother had discectomy and fusion in the mid 1990's on L4-5 which left him horribly screwed up.
    My physiologist is arranging for an epidural to my spine. The hip injection lasted less than a week but it was a great diagnostic tool to help sort out the pain. He's very unsure if the epidural will have a prolonged effect.
    I've contacted an attorney and am filing for disability since I can't stand more than a max of 15 minutes and lifting is excruciating. I have all the tests ( MRI, CAT scans, EMG.. no nerve damage thankfully, range of motion tests etc.
    Here's the kicker..I am terrified of surgery. The osteopathic surgeon told me I'd need a new hip "sooner or later" and I know as with knees, when one goes the other will follow suit down the road. I want to delay both for as long as possible. I am already using a cane. I'm in fear that the SSA will order me into surgery sooner than later.
    Thanks for listening and letting me get this off my chest.
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  • donrichard55ddonrichard55 Posts: 1
    edited 08/13/2015 - 7:53 PM
    i am 50 years old and have lumbar stenosis with neurogenic claudication, also i have cervical sponylosis, high blood pressure and diabetes. i can walk less than a block, but after that need a walker.i have had cortazone shots but am now scheduled for surgery because they are no longer affective. i can sit comfortably but when typing the right hand gets painful after about 5 minutes. i have a social security hearing next tuesday to determine if i will be approved for disability. my primary care physician has provided a statement saying that my limitations preclude any substantial employment. my lawyer says i have a fairly strong case but he is concerned that i can sit for long periods and am fairly dexterous with my hands, although typing is difficult with the right hand due to pain. he said to mention that to the alj. i know for sure that i can not do the work i once did and i know and also that i can not do any thing with my right hand (my smart one) for more than 5 min. i trust my lawyer but i am nervous of what the outcome will be. does anyone think i have a good shot at this?

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    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    The approval process differs so much from state to state.

    I know a family, that moved from Connecticut to South Carolina just to get an easier shot a permanent disability. That same person could never get it up north. She bikes every day 10 miles, runs 3 miles, swims laps, etc but her claim is that her physical limitations are too crippling. Shortly after moving to South Carolina, she was approved for permanent disability.

    So, that being said, its so hard to identify what are the formal guidelines that will be accepted to get approved for disability. But I do know that you should not try to do this on your own. It is worth hiring a lawyer he is qualified in this area and knows how to work around things to get the approvals.

    Unfortunately, it is not always pure black and white.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Jeanie69JJeanie69 Posts: 1
    edited 08/16/2015 - 8:12 PM
    i am a 64 yrs old female diag. with spinal stenosis and ms in 1999. my symptoms are excessive burning in pelvic and buttock area as well as total numbness in my lower body. my neurologist left kaiser in mar. of 2014 and now i only see my primary dr for my symptoms. i am scared to see a new neurologist as the new diag. might be too devastating for me right now. i have been housebound for about 3 weeks and severely depressed because of pain 24/7. i'm taking norco and baclofen.
    the baclofen makes me extremely drowsy during the day. my question is which symptoms are from ms and which are from the spin. stenosis? does anybody else out there have both like me? please help me... i'm really scared... thanks

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    liz -spine-health moderator
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  • I have extreme pain in my middle back when I do anything that requires support for my spine. I have had x-rays showing that I have lumbar stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthrosis and neural foraminal stenosis. I've been trying to fight this pain for 4-5 years now. Tried gabapentin, 800 mg ibuprofen, Cymbalta, Tramadol. Been seeing a new pain specialist for about a month. And I also see a physical therapist three times a week. When I first starting seeing the pain specialist he said he would like to start me on Vicodin, but they don't prescribe on the first visit. No problem. So, every appointment after that they have brushed me off and not given me anything. Finally, at my last appointment he said he wanted to give me Tramadol. I said I already tried that with my previous dr. and it didn't work. He said he still wanted to give it to me for a month. I asked if he would like to call my other dr. for proof that I already tried it, and he said he just wants me to start with Tramadol. I cannot stand this pain anymore. Every day I wish I would just die and get it over with. I don't understand why they won't listen to me. I need to stop this pain NOW! Anyone else been going through this? I'm from Washington state if that matters.
    amy davis
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    edited 10/21/2015 - 1:34 AM
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Yes. You are not alone.
    I have shared experience, not only with Doctor response, but with my response to doctor.
    For me, trying to be good patient...and then choosing a time to..well, like challenge his order for me.
    I had to learn to better stand up for myself more consistently.

    Also, I know the trial and try again of pain management can be crazy making at times. Please be patient.

    It seems as though you let it pass at first appointment when Doctor did not give you script for Vicodin.
    And then for subsequent visits, he brushed you off...?

    Does that mean he ignored your reminder of Vicodin? Refused it? Knew you were without pain relief those months?
    I don't see noted how many months you were then without pain relief, before he wanted you on tramadol....?

    Or did he allow you to continue some sort of pain med that your previous PM doc ordered?
    But now wants you on tramadol?
    Did you take script and try tramadol again?

    Depending on how long ago you were on a medication, Doctor may want to try it again.
    My Doctor wanted to see for himself what the issues were, what relief or symptoms I had or didn't have, from a med I was on previously.
    I don't know how, but it helps him in figuring out what is best for me, by what pain remains or changes and .....I don't know what all.

    It may be good to kind of start again with your PM. When he says something about med change, and forgets or brushes you off, before you leave appointment, I would remind him again, and if necessary, ask him to explain why he said would prescribe and now changed his mind.
    If you feel ignored, to politely bring up topic again..maybe saying you need further explanation for understanding.

    It is so difficult while trying to manage pain within our body, but we need that extra effort to speak up for ourselves.

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Backtoliving.62BBacktoliving.62 Posts: 1
    edited 12/05/2015 - 12:54 PM
    sandi said:
    is totally dependent upon the symptoms of the patient, and the findings of the exams, and imaging studies....from the sounds of the original posters remarks, it sounds like he has some bilateral foraminal stenosis, but does not say what degree, mild, moderate or severe.....congenital canal stenosis is a completely different animal in the effects that it can have on the body's functions and ability to walk.
    If it is a case of mild stenosis in the foramen for the OP, then the large majority of surgeons are not going to offer surgery unless there is some debilitating neurological or mechanical symptoms and from his post, it doesn't appear to be the case.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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