I hurt my back in July of 2004 at work. Just twisted wrong and got a searing pain through my left leg. I tried to work through it but the pain got worse so I went to the doctor. He prescribed muscle relaxers and pain killers and said come back in a week. This went on for a month, no MRI. After a month he sent me to physical therapy for six weeks. He saw me once a week during the therapy prescribing more muscle relaxers and more pain pills. I got better (not healed )and was told it would take time for my back to heal. I was told to do my excersizes and eventually I would get better. Well I didn't. I maintained for a couple of months and then got gradually worse. Then a month ago I got out of bed one morning and again the searing pain down my left leg, and down I went. It took me an hour to stand up straight. I went back to my doctor. He again put me on more pills and told me to come back in a week. This has gone on for a month now. I asked him about an MRI and he said that that would be the step right before surgery. I don't understand how he can be treating me if he doesn't know what is wrong. He has mentioned a herniated disk. Is this normal? Shouldn't I have had a MRI by now?
Last edited by sunnyd1965; 03-06-2005 at 12:54 AM.
Yes you should have already had an MRI. You really need to be proactive here and get a second opinion. In my opinion, you haven't been properly diagnosed if you haven't at least had an MRI. Your doctor doesnt' sound like he's that great. What did he diagnose you with? Well, no matter the diagnosis you really need to seek another professional opinion. Let me know what your diagnosis was. Good luck and take care. Kristy.
The process I went through with workman's comp was the same. Your gp probably is just going through all the steps required before requesting they pay for an mri. Mine did at about 6 weeks - you're almost there. Becky
What kind of quack are you seeing? How can he send you to PT without knowing what he's dealing with? I had an internist order an MRI and an EMG, after an x-ray. Can you get a referral to a spine specialist?
here is the impression I got from a few doctors.
Alot of the ones I delt with were of the mind that, "if its a herniated disc, we do PT"
"If you just got out of surgery, we do the same PT"
"If you havent lost bowel control then all back treatment is the same"
and then my experience with PT was, they just sneak up on activities.
And when its something that hurts you, they dont go "oh yes, that must be the left lumbral blah blah blah"
they just say "oh, hmm ok, lets lay off that one for a while"
SO its not my opinion its just my experience that with all these books that say "most people have herniations and for some reason have no pain" and then stuff happening like them telling me "you have a bulge at l4/5 and if we reduce the size of it, it will help"
and it NOT helping.
that there are MRI, people and non MRI people
There are a lot of factors involved in why they do and don't do MRI's. I hurt my back about ten years ago and was told that the only way that I could get an MRI was if I had lost bodily functions. Then, a few years ago all three of the hospitals in the area did rebuilds and bought new equipment. Everyone who wanted one could have an MRI. Funny how that worked. They needed to pay for their new toys.
Our insurance wants to see that you have jumped the hoops before an MRI. That includes, PT, muscle relaxers, pain killers, ice/heat therapy and time. What is it, 80% get better over time? After a bit they may suggest the ESI's. (Turn those down).
If you still aren't better and they know that you are not there just to get meds, then they order an MRI, CT scan, X-rays, etc. It took me months to get an MRI on my shoulder. I had to jump all of the hoops. As for my back, since it was WC, they had me in the MRI right away.
So, it all depends on the doctor, your insurance situation, and what they will allow.
Not everyone with herniated discs have pain and not everyone with pain has a herniated disc.
Sunny, I had the same Dr/MRI experience. I was rear-ended and 1st my DR. sent me home w/ muscle relaxers and motrin. Went back in a week still complaining-just to be told to keep taking my stuff which was not working. Two weeks later, given ultram for pain and set up for PT. Three weeks later on PT's advise finally got sent for MRI which showed bulges, protrusions and mild stenosis and mild hypertrophy, all in the cervical/thorasic area. When the MRI results came in my DR. reffered me to a neurosurgeon, who sent me out of his office literally in hystericics w/ a migraine, hyperventilating and vomiting. As he said "Time will make it better, and it's still early" He doesn't recommend nor do fusion surgery and basicall told me to deal with it! I stopped PT don't know if that was the right thing to do or not. It wasn't helping and nobody told me any different. So here I sit coming to this board for information!
Fly, was your stenosis caused by a bulging disk? I have mild stenosis at C5-6 which is where one of my bulges is. Also at this level my spinal canal is 7mm, I guess it's supposed to be 13-15mm. My bulge is also touching my spinal cord at this site as well. So far no Dr. I've seen is of any use, doesn't explain a thing, just ships me out the door thinking I'm trying to sue them I think, or someone as it's from a MVA. I'm just looking to be healed! I do have a referall to a spine center. My Dr. gave me that before my MRI, at this point my DR. thought it was just muscle spasms. So I didn't know if I should still call b/c my MRI showed many things.
Sunny, I went through the WC crap for yrs and it is a stressful, emotional draining process, if you are not and it appears that your not getting proper treatment you need to apply through WC for a change of physician and possibly even hire an att.
I know that most don't want to invole lawyers and I can say I do undertsand but unless you are one of the rare people that are up on all the laws and regulations of WC then you need one.
I was jerked around so long I lost my claim and now have permanant nerve damage.
Fight for yourself and your rights with WC and the drs.
Definitely follow up with the spine center. You want someone with a spine fellowship. And take your MRI film with you. Based on my description of my symptoms my spine surgeon was ready to throw me out of his office---then he looked at my MRI. My stenosis was from arthritis.
Last edited by flyonthewall; 03-08-2005 at 06:33 AM.
Just had to post on WC. I broke my ankle/foot at work 2 years ago. I broke it on a Saturday overnight shift about 4 am. Being there were only 2 staff on, myself included as one, I had to stay there until 7am when the next shift came in. Anyway my Aunt is an ED nurse and told me the emergency rooms were jammed( I just worked 9p-7a) and gave me the name of a foot and ankle Dr. about 1/2 hour from me. I went there, he took me out of work for 3 weeks, and at this point didn't find the break, gave me pills and a brace and sent me home. Monday morning my HR calls and says I have to see our comapny Dr. and couldn't see this one I went to. She said they'd pay his bill but I couldn't go back to him. I went a few days later to my company Dr. there they found I broke it in 2 spots gave me some vicodin and said I could return to work with restrictions the next day! I tried fighting with the Dr. and company but ultimitly I lost. There is a certain time frame thing though. I can't remember if it's 30 or 90 days, but if your comapny has this certain policy you MUST see their Dr. for that 30 or 90 days. After that you can see anyone you want. My foot, that probably should of been healed within 2 months lasted almost 6, and I think it was because they shipped me right back to work! There is no "light duty" in health care. Your on your feet...broken or not! Just thought I'd add that, while it was a while ago I still recall the frustration
Sunny - Is the leg pain in the back of your thigh? If so, it could be Sciatica. There are 2 diagnoses that I pursued:
- MRI (lumbar) to see if any disc might be impinging on the nerve. (I had negative results re: Sciatica)
- Primary Care Physician placing pressure (thumb, whatever) along the Piriformis (runs under the glutes and over the Sciatic nerve) to determine if you have any aches, pain, etc. (That's how mine was discovered - my dr. then injected an anesthetic in the Piriformis, and told me if I experienced relief that it was the cause of my pain)
This may not be where you have pain, but wanted to pass on the information just in case. Good luck!