I was injured about 2 years ago. My 2nd MRI shows I have a moderate right sided herniated disc at the L-5 SI level with nerve root impingement & abuting the thecal sac. About a month ago I had to stop taking my medications because workmans comp said that I had a temp flare-up and they will not pay for them, even though their Dr. has me prescribed to them & I am still having pain & nerve symptoms. Medications are Neurontin, Celebrex, Ultram, amitryptiline.
After my injury I started getting calf cramps at night off and on which are painful. Sometimes they occur weekly, other times they occur every couple of weeks. They normally do not last long, under a minute. I stretch them out by pulling my leg back to my butt and flexing my foot. This is the only way I can stretch them out because they prevent me from being able to stand and walk. Tonight was the worst ever. My calf, hamstring and foot all cramped up on me. It hurt so bad I was seriously balling like a baby and it lasted about 5 min. I guess my question is.. Are these cramps connected to my herniated disc? If so, I have stopped taking my medications, did the cramps get worse because of stopping the medication? There is no use in asking my Dr. He's workcomp, treats me bad and could care less....
Don't understand several things. If injured on the job, why go to their doctor except for initial eval and then only if they required it. Your body and you have the right to tell them you want to be treated by the doctor of your choosing. With the treatment and no talk of any type surgery to release the pressure on the nerve so that there is not permanent damage, it sounds like maybe you are seeing a neuro who is NOT a neuro surgeon. Used to, I didn't realize all neuro's didn't do surgery until I saw one who told me that he could treat me but it would mean meds the rest of my life and it wouldn't actually fix the problem. I appreciated that info but decided I didn't want to mask the pain and do that the rest of my life, but wanted fix the problem.
You didn't say if WC is just dropping you at the point, but if you still have the problem, you may need to call some attorney's who specialize in WC injuries and ask for a free consult with them. Then you could decide what to do on all fronts.
But somewhere along the way you will need to see a good spine specialist, whether a neuro or ortho spine specialist. Yes, orthopaedics, especially those who are spine specialists can do what is needed. You will need to ask ahead of actually making an appointment though, if the doctor is a general neuro/ortho or a spine specialist. You want the best chance for a full recovery.
Now, as this has been going on for two years, your chances of the nerve fully recoverying may be decreased, but it doesn't mean that it cannot happen. It's just that the longer there is pressure (would also depend on the amount of pressure) the greater the chance of permanent injury to that nerve. So, don't wait around.
You didn't say if you had insurance, but if so, you may have to let the doctor's bill against that insurance, but do answer any questionaire honesty if asked if this is a work related injury. A lawyer can give you better info, but I do know that when I was injured in an accident (not WC) that my regular insurance paid, but recovered most of their money from the other parties insurance when I was through with treatment for that particular injury. It meant some record keeping on my part, but you better than anyone will know how to do that.
Hope this will help you decide what to do next, but just do not do nothing! Best wishes and let us hear from you again on how you are doing.
BTW, if you have a script for meds, have you tried getting it filled on your regular insurance? You need at least the ultram and muscle relaxer if you can get them filled. Trying to think how much mine run, but think the Ultram is one of my less expensive meds, but my Flexeril is fairly expensive.
As of right now I am required to go to thier workcomp Dr. My case is in Iowa. I can not choose who I want to go to unless I pay for it myself. I do not have health insurance at this time or can afford it. I was put on permenant restrictions and I had to leave my job because of the restrictions. I did get paid from workcomp for 6 months after I was laid off and drew unemployment for 6 months. I am now waiting for a settlement. Workcomp is paying for my Dr. visits but refuse to pay for my medication. My meds are around $400.00 a month. The funny thing about that is.. workcomp is refusing to pay for my meds but the Dr. signed a form for a pharmaceutical co. to help me get low cost or free meds. Which is still in processing.
I have been to a Neuro and he does not recommend surgery at this point. His reason was because of my age (23) and he said workcomp people never seem to heal. As of right now I am seeing a Dr. from an occupational health center. I think he is just a M.D. He is not qualified as a neurosurgeon.
I do have an attorney and he is trying to get me a different Dr. He is also getting my case ready for trial.
I have been through so much. Physical therapy multiple times, work hardening program, steroid injections, adjustments, light duty multiple times, reduced work hours, A few Dr.s that don't care or just want to keep me drugged.
Its crazy and i'm tired of being screwed by WC. But thats what they do i guess. Try to get you to give up on everything.