I am at my wits end. I have had four back surgeries. Two Cervical and two Lumbar. They were all very successful. I had gone back to school gotten my degree and had been working in my profession for 4 years. I picked up a box. The diagnosis is ruptured T7 & T8 with floating bone fragaments. I can not tell you the pain that this causes, especially sitting at the computer. No nerosurgeon will touch me. Why can I not get anyone to help. I keep getting shuffled from one speacilist to another without any help. oh, and this is workers comp. They have me working half a day and I cannot tollerate it. I am lost, do not know where to turn. Is this a rare condition? Just needed to vent. Thanks
Hi Trix: I am very sorry about your back pain. I've had one lumbar and one cervical surgery. I, too, am experiencing thoracic problems; however, not as bad as yours. I have talked to my neurosurgeon's office gal about the thoracic spine and she stated that the doctor does not handle thoracic problems because there are too many organs involved with the thoracic spine. You would have to go to a thoracic surgeon, who specializes in that area. It isn't that common for the thoracic spinal disks to "go"; however, I just met another gal from Oregon on this board who also has thoracic problems. If you lookback about a week or two into the posts from lstBarbi, she, too is suffering in this area. They have also just found out that degenerating disks are inherited, caused by a mutant gene. I do know that type of pain, with that weird tightening around the mid section of your body. Often times, my pain meds just don't seem to help the problematic thoracic pain I experience. (I have degenerating disks and spinal arthritis.) I have widespread back pain in my neck and low back as well, and if one area isn't in pain, another area is! Do you have any pain in your neck and low back, or only in your thoracic area?
Our family used to live in DeLand, Fl, and we used to visit Ormond Beach quite often. We still miss that wonderful warm ocean breeze, but Florida was just too crowded, so we moved back to Wash. state, as I could no longer work, due to my low back giving out about 10 years ago. My husband didn't make enough money to support our family, so we returned to our old, broken down mobile home in Wash. state.
Take care and feel free to ask me any questions. I've been suffering quite a bit of pain lately, so if I don't get back to you right away, it is due to severe pain (and computer work seems to aggravate my condition even more. I really enjoy being able to talk to others with back problems and I used to be here all the time; my pain is simply keeping me away.)PatG<p>[This message has been edited by PatG (edited 09-08-2001).]
It was great to hear from someone who knows the pain. Yes, I live with lumbar and cervical pain everyday. However, I have learned to live with it. I was not as lucky as you after my last surgery (which was my fourth) I had to return to work even though I was in pain. When the thoracic pain started I could not bear it. When the doctor's in this area hear thoracic and workers comp they drop me like a hot potatoe. I am suing because they are not paying me and will not get me to the right doctor. I need a speacilist in this area. They put me on half days and now I am going to loose my medical benefits at work. This is a nightmare. How is the weather in Washington? I have always thought I might like to live there. Is the economy cheaper than Florida? Well enough for one day. Again, thank you for taking the time to listen. Hope you have some pain free days ahead.
I had L5 fusion in October of last year. I thought I was doing great until my middle back starting going whacko. I found out last week, I also have a herniated T12 that is about to test my tolerance of pain. It breaks me out in a cold sweat to the point I don't know if I am going to be sick or pass out. My spine doctor said maybe I could find a doctor that would fix it but he wouldn't be responsible as it could paralyze me as it is herniated around the spinal cord. From what I hear it is very rare for discs in the thoracic to herniate as there is no twisting or turning involved in that part of the back. Mine was caused from a MVA in which I was broadsided by someone going at a high rate of speed. The pain from this is unreal and I know where you are coming from!!!
I also have a herniated disk at the T7/8. I have been fighting with the Worker's Comp. Insurance for 7 months now. The reason why you are running into so many brick walls is because the surgery is very expensive as well as the after care. I took a fall backwards over a pallet with a heavy wieght and struck my lower back on one side of the pallet. My thorasic back on a raised box in the center and my neck snapped over the other side. At first the main concern for everyone was the neck and I had a fusion at the C5/6 for a severly herniated disk. The problem didn't go away in the middle back. The ins. co. said I wasn't hurt there. They even found a Doctor to say I had a soft tissue injury and it would go away after a while. My Nerosurgeon ordered a MRI in January and it showed a herniated disk. My Doctor sent me to physical therapy for my neck and in conjunction with them injections for my Thorasic region. The physical therapy help the neck but did nothing for the Thorasic area. The injections did not help either. So then the reccommendation was for surgery. Then the ins. co. said it wasn't severe enough to have surgery. So I had a Myleogram-C/T. It showed that the herniation was as serious as my Doctor had said. The the Ins, Co. found another doctor who said it didn't warrant surgery and that I didn't hurt it in the fall. My Nuerosurgeon who is pioneer in the thorasic surgery said that this doctor doesn't know how to properly dianoss this area. So with a attorney I have had to file in the Workman's Compesation Commission to get permission for surgery and to continue tempporary benefits.(of course they cut off your money to press their point) It's now been 7 months and I should hear something in the next few days. This whole time the ins co. says I could return to light duty. I have a hard time just getting out of bed and walking in my mind they are nuts. My own Doctors still rate me as totally disable and they are the ones that the insurance company has to get the release from.
It amazes me how they can hold us up over something as trivial as money. I hurt 24/7. I have numb feet and legs. Very brisk reflexes and urinary hesitensy problems. I even have the bowel and intamcy problems in that I have very little feeling down there to make everything work properly. My pain feels like someone is screwing a cork screw in my back 24/7. (and that's on the pain killers) I can't even decribe the pain when I don't take them. It sounds like you had the same stunt pulled on you that they tried on me which was your last surgery is complete and at optimum improvement so it's time for you to go back to light duty. I only hope for your sake that they didn't try this with your own Doctor.
The thorasic area is very tricky. Everything I read that if you suffer from pain and it doesn't go away with the injections then your only recourse is surgery.(that's if you condition deteriorates) The longer you wait the greater the possibilty of permanent nerve damage. Yes it is a dangerous surgery. I had to weigh my options and see this as the only hope to recovery. I deserve to be as pain free as possible. I didn't ask for this problem just one missed step in 15 years of work changed my life forever.
The one thing to note if your job has any lifting you may never be able to do that again with or without the surgery.
I feel sorry for those who have to drag themselves back to work because they can't afford to fight the insurance co. I feel that many a person is done damage in the company's pursuit of bottomline profit. When I started out all I was concerned with was getting things done so that I could get back to work. But, after all the delays and lost reports and the general looking at me like i am a thief, I am bitter against the Insurance Company because they are my only reason why I have had to suffer for the last 7 months. People deserve better.
I look forward to hearing more about you problem. Maybe we could hold each other up through this.
Thank you for sharing your grief with me. I know exactly what you are going through. I went to my doctor yesterday, (which is a physical therapy doctor) go figure, she asked me what made the condition worse. I said sitting at the computer with my arm and hand on the calculator all day. She said that my job was light duty, I said yes but sitting is the worse thing I can do. She then said in her infinite wisdom that my job should make modifications to my desk so that my elbow is by my side when I work. I must explain that she does not speak good english. I tried to describe to her what my job entailed, she could not comprehend. So she left it that my job should make the neccesary adjustments. Now I am going back to physical therapy. It was good to hear from someone with the same problem and yes it is a shame that we have to fight the insurance company when we are so much pain. I hope that you receive the answer that you are waiting for. Keep in touch.
Your doctor said that your work needed to make modifications for you. I would contact my case worker and see when these modifications are going to be put in place for you at work. Tell them without them they are causing you great pain and must be addressed.
I also wondered did you find yourself a lawyer? It seems to me that you will need one before all this is over. Especially to get any real movement out of the insurance company. My guest is that this will need to be settle at the workman's comp hearing. You deserve better than your getting.
Hi Oliver/Trixse - I feel and commisurate with you, Workman's Comp needs to be taken to task for both of you. It is a crying shame they would rather see all of us with permanent damage/paralysis than do the right thing. They sure don't hesitate to call with thier hand out if a payment is late; yet they will try to starve/bankrupt people into signing thier future life away.
If you can call living in pain a future. For me, the pain just sucked the life out of me, no smiling, no fun, no BREAK from pain, just SUCKS. Wish I could offer more than just empathy and words; at least now after fighting 16 months I am on rudimentary opioid therapy. Better than nothing.
Hope you both get the best of the *******s, and a painfree night.
Thanks guys for the kind words of encouragement. Yes, I have a lawyer. Today my employer tried to represent Workers Comp and bribe me with money to quit my job. My lawyer is smiling. Workers Comp is furious. My doctor who is a quack has not a clue. Hope you guys get what we all need, which is pain free living. Good Night All.