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Work injury 6/10 injures L4, L5-S1. Comp. Dr. says surgery only opion. Advice?

Started by npgirl on 10/29/2010 5:39pm

Hi , fellow pain sufferers. I'm a ARNP , I injured my back at work in 6/2010 and filed incident report. Had terrible pain for a week before I realized it was more than a pulled muscle ansd saw a Dr. The Comp. "Gatekeeper" doc allowed me to keep working with restrictions. My job entails home visiting: getting in/ out of car all day ( 5-6 times) climbing stairs etc... I worked for 3 mths before comp finally approved a visit with a neurosurgeon 9//2010 ( 3 mths later!). He placed me off work and RX more PT. I've had >21 PT sessions since injury in 6/2010, and not much relief. I have Sciatic nerve pain down my left leg and numbness and tingling also, no weakness as of yet. Doc tells me my only option is surgery because MRI shows a bone fragment is pressing on my S! nerve and nerve damage could occur if I don't have surgery. I also have 2 bulging discs at L4& L5 and Doc says he wouldn't touch them,, he'd only operate on the source of sciatic pain. Why not kill all birds with 1 stone why I'm in surgery anyway with 1 recovery? I feel he's not giving me the entire truth about alternative methods for my condition because he is a SURGEON or either Comp. won't pay for other TX because I've heard they want you to have surgery so they can say you are " FIXED" and be done with you. He has never heard of spinal decompression or discectomy, a red flag to me. I'm afraid if I don't have surgery I'll cause permanent nerve damage , but have heard so many horror stories and have been told I'll be sorry if I have surgery. I'd appreciate any advice from people who've had similiar injuries, surgerie, etc...

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5 Responses


hi npgirl...
the surgeon can usually tell by examining you what nerve root is being pressed. apparently he feels its the bone spur thats the culprit. there is always a risk when you have surgery. even with a microdiscectomy there is a 10 percent chance of failed back syndrome. if there is no pain coming from the L4/5 disc there is no reason to risk surgery. i would google the word DERMATONE. this is a map of the nerve roots of the spine and will show what areas of the body are affected by pressure on a nerve root. check the l5/l4 level and see if you have pain in the areas shown on the map. if you do then tell the surgeon and he may want to reconsider. at any rate i would obtain another opinion from a surgeon in another office.....pete


Hi, can you get a second opinion, thats what it sound like to me you need to do. If you live in Tx I know a great Neurosurgeon. He is located in Austin and will do it all at one time, plus he will go over everything with you before he do it. If you have any queston he will answer them. He fix some mistake a doctor done on me back in NC. if you want his infor. please contact me at gray809@hotmail.com.....please weight all your opinions because you will not be able to take the surgery back, once it is done, thats what I did not do..this website has help me alot...I will pray for your safe recovery....keep in touch...my doctor is the best and I travel to Austin to see him.....



Typically I'll just GOOGLE my questions concerning my back problems. Maybe this is a better way of communicating and getting answers!


Hi have gone through alot with my back starting about ten years. went through pys.therapy, chiro. epidiral shots,ct, mri , mylagram ,then after a couple of yrs I was found to have L4 L5 herniated
disc I did have a laminectomy.that did take care of pain in the left leg and disc.right after that i start having pain in right leg .I thought here we go again neuro. surg. said i dont know why you would be having pain on the other side and he sent me to pain management dr.I did research on everything on the computer .I had seen that a test called a discogram that does show every little thing that is wrong with spine.and discs ect.and i begged to have one.my pain dr did agree.alot of drs say they only do them only when you are going to have surg.nuero wouldnt do one. I dont know why? I found I not only had that hern disc,but severe d.d.d. bulging disc and a tear in disc.I have been on pain meds for 9 yrs and started to have some pain i didnt want more pain meds. I wanted something done,JUNE 2010 had a spinal stimulator implanted that on the trail it was great prem. implant is not helping now i have found i have another hern. disc.and is going through alot again. today I had a nerve root block I hope it helps??you need to research and research you dr.put his full name in google it will tell you everything about him if people liked him ect.,get a sec.opinion for sure
a surg not to know what a discectomy is or decompression is thats crazy .and those bulging disc's could stay like that or for a long time.leave them alone.hope some of this helped.


I had the disc decompression done in late 07 and again in late 08. The 1st one help relieve my pain a bit so I had it again . It was about a month before I could tell the true effect. I haven't had any pain that some over the counter meds didn't help. So I would say try it . You may be worse than i was . A lot of insuranes wont pay for this because it's not FDA approved anymore . They say it is a bandaid.
I had no problems with work or on my fram after my second one. The pain, burning, pin sticks, muscle spasams all went away.
I wish the best to you.
But keep in mind the doctors are not making any money if they jump right in and fix you. They want to milk it for what they can while you suffer. Stick to your guns and don't let anyone talk you into thinking you better even a bit if your not. If your pain goes away for more than a month then your on to something. Please don't get dependent on pain meds. Again they only cover up not fix. When your on them you feel no pain and could do some thing that would make yourself worse.
Read up on the disc decompression all you can so you will have the answers to the question before the doctor tells you something different. NO WHAT your talking about before you go into there office. This will save you time. But becareful some doctor have a GOD complex..( They know it all and if you disagree they will shut up out ). Try talking with the insurance people about what your going through and ask for there advice due to the fact you think the doctors may be tring to milk them. This will put you in good with the insurance. Best wishes. Fellow pain suffer