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Old 03-14-2011, 01:08 PM   #1
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Red face Frustrated - help

I had some mini strokes in June of 2009. After that I kept experiencing weakness in my legs. The doctors did some tests and found out that it didn't have to do with the strokes but that I have ddd, spondylolisthesis, pinched nerves in my lower back, weakness in my legs and drop foot. I also have numbness in my legs and feet sometimes. Now, I guess maybe i never noticed any of it before as much before the strokes. I always had back pain but figured it had to do with being on my feet for so long and lifting really heavy boxes. I stumbled alot, still do when my legs get tired and weak. I use a cane now for some stability but when I lift things that are heavier than 10lbs my back hurts more than it already does and my legs get weak and for lack of better phrasing - they give out on me. My doctor has prescribed a muscle relaxer but tells me that that is all she can do for me until I see a pain management doctor. I do work part time which is actually turning into full time but the more I do the more tired I get so I stumble. Is tere aynyone else dealing with the same? Any suggestions to aleviate the pain? HELP!

 
Old 03-14-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Re: Frustrated - help

Since you are experiencing weakness in your legs, have you considered seeing a spine specialist, a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon. Have you had an MRI? They usually have more options for you than other doctors.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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Re: Frustrated - help

Have you seen a spine surgeon? If not, I would suggest you see at least two of them so you get a second opinion right from the start. How old is your MRI? If older than 6 months, you may want to ask your primary care doc for a new one if your problems have gotten worse lately.

Just because you visit a spine surgeon doesn't mean you have to have surgery. There are orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons who focus on the spine who you should see. It also helps to make sure they are fellowship trained.

If you have the radiologist's report on your most recent MRI, could you post it on here? That way you can get more input and advice.

One of the rules of having back problems is that if it hurts, don't do it.

You may also want to have a consultation with a worker's comp attorney since your back problems may be due to your work. Consultations are free.

 
Old 03-14-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: Frustrated - help

[QUOTE=minstrel2;4706387]Since you are experiencing weakness in your legs, have you considered seeing a spine specialist, a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon. Have you had an MRI? They usually have more options for you than other doctors.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I have seen two. I have an an MRI and have had an EMG. Thank You for your suggestions.

 
Old 03-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: Frustrated - help

What did the spine surgeons suggest you do?

 
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Frustrated - help

[QUOTE=twohands;4706422]What did the spine surgeons suggest you do?[/QUOTE]

All I've been told is therapy and I am having a hard time to find one to take my insurance which is medicaid.

 
Old 03-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: Frustrated - help

Pammy,

Be persistent and ask around some more. Your primary care doc may have some suggestions, and there may be a community health program that can help you.

Also, you can contact Medicare to ask for suggestions of where you can get physical therapy and have it covered.

You can also contact these surgeon's offices and they may be able to connect you with a location which would accept Medicare.

Best wishes!

 
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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Re: Frustrated - help

Pammy, physical therapy is not going to do much to help the spondylolithesis or the nerves being pinched in your back. Since you have had mini-strokes, and with your back problems, have you considered applying for disability? I would suggest finding an attorney who specializes in it and seeing what he says. It costs nothing for the consultation and he will only take your case if he feels he has a good chance of winning for you; you see, that's the only way he will get paid! It does sound to me that you have a good chance of getting on either SSD or SSI and that will allow you to find a good spine specialist.

Lifting heavy boxes is the last thing you need to be doing! With what is going on in your spine, you are more at risk for herniating a disc so this job you are doing is absolutely hazardous to your spine. I do hope you will look into getting on either SSD or SSI so that you will have better insurance coverage and can get the kind of help you need with a good Orthopedic Spine Specialist who is fellowship trained, or a neurosurgeon with the same education in spine issues.

As for help with the pain, perhaps a medication like neurontin would help some with the nerve pain....a narcotic pain medication would be helpful as well. Other than that, as long as you are doing heavy lifting, there isn't much that can help you. I know that being on Medicaid doesn't give you a lot of options for getting the right kind of help so I sympathize deeply.

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Last edited by moderator2; 03-14-2011 at 03:27 PM.

 
Old 03-14-2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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Re: Frustrated - help

Maltluver,
Thank You so much for your suggestions. My only concern with applying for either SSD or SSI is that I won't be able to work and unfortunately that's not an option for my family. I will delve deeper into that.

 
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