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Advice- L5 Herniation with nerve impingment

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4
twin25 HB User
Advice- L5 Herniation with nerve impingment

OK. I am 34yo. I had a discetomy/laminectomy at this same level in 2001. I went back to work in a factory about 8 weeks after surgery. I have had minimal complications since the surgery. Occasional "stiffness" no pain and no nerve problems. About 2 months I was pulling and immideatly had tenderness in my back. Woke up only a few hrs after going to sleep in severe pain. I couldnt roll myself over in bed or stand up. I sat in the shower and get ready for work. I was thnking that if I could go to the ER and get a steroid shot and toradol I would be fine in an hour and i could work. Since this has always worked in the past. Well I landed an admission to the hospital following an MRI in the ER.

Since the injury I have been off of work for over 2 months. I have had a MRI, 4 days if IV steroids in patient and a total of 3 weeks of oral steroids, Physical Therapy, EMG and Myelogram. Which I have a herniated disc at L5-S1 with sciatic nerve impingment on the right and fragments abutting the left side of the sciatic nerve. I started with severe left leg and foot pain and hip pain when i stood so severe it was crippling. The pain has gotten better, but still there.

Here is my problem!!! I am a nurse and this is a WC case! I keep getting told that my pain is from a stretched nerve and my diabetes. I am at a loss as what I need to do! I seriously do no think that I can return to work right now! I am scared of surgery, but then again I want to be fixed. I dont want a temporary fix! I am afraid that when I am available to go back to work what will I do if I am at home and it begins again. Will they refuse to help me simply because I am released back to work? I do not know how all of this works. I really dont know what to do! I am not even sure the neurosurgeon is interested in operating on me. The guy that done my EMG also does the ESI, which he recommended. He said if I didnt want to have surgery right off, he would be glad to do the ESI. I see the neurosurgeon the first of the week. I am scared to death!!!

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,664
gmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB User
Re: Advice- L5 Herniation with nerve impingment

Dear twin, I had almost the exact same scenario hurt @ work admitted to hospital for 2 weeks, myelogram showed L4-5, L5-S1 bilaterally herniated, had PT, traction & the pain & weak back prevented me from returning to work. The dr I was seeing from where i worked kept threatening me that i had to have discogramm or return to work. I did & didnt last full day. So, I went to a spine only neurosurgeon, got ct scan & Mri & had a csf leak. Surgery done, lumbar laminectomy at both levels & dura repair. So, you see i had returned to work, then took more time before surgery. I just called caseworker @ wc insurance & said i not able to work, i tried and it was too painful, weak. My NS office handled surgery certification etc. I relied on & did everything the dr said after I found the right one. I wish I had never had surgery b/c i have had pain since the day i got hurt but with the leak i had no choice. Back surgery is serious, in my opinion so please allow yourself time to heal, see spine specialist/specialists, try epidural injections if recommended to you by dr, pain mgmt etc, tell caseworker all the steps you take, what the dr says & how you really feel, & ask what happens if you go back to work. Just because i returned to work i was still under the care of my dr and still covered by the wc insurance In a nutshell, I called the caseworker and i was honest about everything all the time and then i didnt have to predict my future just took it day by day as my back and the ns directed. I hope this helps!

Last edited by gmak; 01-10-2013 at 07:38 AM. Reason: wording

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Begora (01-10-2013)
Old 01-23-2013, 12:28 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4
twin25 HB User
Unhappy Re: Advice- L5 Herniation with nerve impingment

Well, I am scheduled for a microdiscectomy for Thursday (1.24.2013) I am a nervous wreck! I have all these questions, plus fears from the amount of pain I had during my last surgery! I can remember being unable to walk that first week and barely being able to claw myself to the bathroom! It was an invasive surgery.

Apparently I have a far lateral lumbar disc herniation (FLLDH) @ L5-S1 which from what ive read is not all that commom. I have been off of work since November and am so ready to get back. I am so afraid since this is my 2nd surgery they will tell me I can no longer do bedside nursing. Im afraid I might be in more pain after surgery than I currently am (permanantly), I am afraid of perminant nerve damage, and paralysis! I am also a type 1 diabetic with an insulin pump. I worry how my diabetes will affect my healing. I know this is crazy since I am a nurse, but I all of that goes out the window when your not in control of the situation! I absolutely love my job! Sad thing is I got hurt at work and was a week from my 90 probation period ending. I am scared of loosing my job as well! As an ER nurse, it can get crazy and it is always super busy!

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