Spinal Disorders & Back Pain For discussion of all spinal cord injuries, spinal issues, back-related pain or problems.

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Old 09-10-2019, 10:08 AM #1
graybeard graybeard is offline
Newly Joined
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
graybeard graybeard is offline
Newly Joined
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Default Do I Have a Case?

Hi. I have a documented history of lower back issues. In particular Sciatica in my left leg. I have, on 2 occasions, filed workman's comp claims. The last being Jan. of 2012. I was told by the doctor giving me my return to work physical that my problem was related to stenosis and bone spurs in my lower back and that my only relief would be surgery.

Well time went on and things got better until April of this year. I had spent the previous year making plans for the ultimate road trip. Take the month of May off and drive to Alaska. I purchased a 5X8 ft cargo trailer and converted it to a travel trailer just for this trip. A/C, microwave, porta potty and yes a kitchen sink. I did all the labor myself.

As luck would have it, my sciatica reared its ugly head 2 weeks before my departure date of May 3rd. I rested as much as possible and was feeling really good on the 3rd. I set out on the first leg. The pain returned after setting up the trailer. I had planned this trip for a year, so I pressed on. My only relief was sitting upright on a heating pad, So driving was not an issue.

I continued for 9 days and 2700 miles. At this point I could no longer endure the pain and turned around. Made a beeline back to Houston, staying at hotels along the way.

Upon my return, I made an appointment with my GP. He prescribed a steroid pill pack and gave me some pain pills for sleeping. It was evident at this point that I would not be able to return to work on June 3rd, so I went back and asked for an excuse from work. He refused, stating that he was not a spine doctor, he suggested I see a specialist.

Being under tome constraints, I chose a doctor that could get me in the quickest yet still have good reviews. I told him my problem and he immediately asked me whether I experienced any numbness in my upper extremities. I told him my right arm would go numb when I slept on it wrong or held it in a certain position, but that it was not an issue.
He ordered a lumbar and cervical MRI. The result came in and his focus was solely on my neck. I kept reminding him my lumbar was the issue.
Now at this point, I should have got a second opinion but by now, I had an FMLA claim and had deadlines I had to meet to qualify and continue getting a paycheck. I took a week to decide. I researched and found a couple of published papers on sciatica and cervical disc herniation. It was a thing, but I was still not convinced. I went back to tell him I wanted to go forward with the lumbar procedure. He convinced me that the ACDF would alleviate my issue.

Well, here I am, nearly a month out of ACDF surgery. My left leg is still numb, my lower back is still sore...and I had C-5 palsy in my right bicep and deltoid muscles. I have until Mid November to recoup. No chance of addressing the original issue.

So, Is this a case of a doctor choosing the more profitable procedure over the actual procedure needed?

I'm sorry it's so long and if I have posted this in the wrong forum.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:23 AM #2
caroline2 caroline2 is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 2,393
5 yr Member
caroline2 caroline2 is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 2,393
5 yr Member

OP: Sounds like you were doing pretty good and then you took on all the work you did and the travel. Probably not the best decisions one could attempt.

I've dealt with problem back for over 60 yrs but am pretty smart about doing what to do and what not to do. I'm 81 and happy to be walking and do use a walker but overall very healthy. I also take a good amount of healing supplements. Hardly any pharma drugs.

No back surgeries here and once we elect any kind of surgery and even if it's not elective, we take our chances....no guarantees.

I've been through a couple messed up issues: one a botched hip repacement and some yrs later a staph infection in my knee that hospital team of doctors didn't "Find" for 2.5 months...I did not walk for about 3 months until the infection was found and cured....

I thought and even talked to attorneys and no chances on either case. One almost has to be dead or a lost limb or some very very horrid issue to get attorney to listen. To even think about a case.

Don't know if you are around here at this point but I just saw your post. C
OA onset at 18, now 81. Fibro onset at 61, Hip Replacement "mess" 72 (nerve damage, IT band damage, shorter leg). Otherwise, pretty good health.

Most important supplement: grape seed extract
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