It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board

  • low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 03-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #1
    heatherfromcali
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    heatherfromcali's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Auburn, California
    Posts: 22
    heatherfromcali HB User
    low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

    Hi everyone,

    I've been on this back pain journey for 18 months now since I was in a car accident in September 2012. I had no idea when it happened how my life would be affected, I want to do anything necessary to help it, but at the same time, I'm starting to feel like a guinea pig who is just getting endlessly poked and prodded. It's my understanding that a lot of the prescribed procedures are not necessarily helpful and a lot of back doctors will use patients to make money with no desire to really help them with their back pain.
    I'm looking for any advice that you all might have about my situation, which right now seems pretty scary and hopeless.
    I was the passenger in a commercial utility van that rolled over (I accepted a ride from a friend of a friend after being stranded and It ended being a huge mistake and afterwards I couldn't get the driver to cooperate with me and give me his insurance information so that I could get medical treatment) Being the type of person who generally doesn't trust attorneys, especially this kind of attorney, I've been very unsure about his advice and especially I'm really unsure about the doctor he's referred me to.
    In a nutshell, in the beginning I started out seeing a Chiropractor who took x-rays and found nothing besides some desication around L-5 which is common for someone of my age (44) I was assured that it was probably just a back sprain and would heal on it's own. I was seen & given adjustments a couple of times a week for a few weeks and then sent to physical therapy which only flared up my back pain and did not help. Then I was referred to a back surgeon where I was sent to have an MRI which also showed nothing. Next I was referred for aqua therapy which also did not help my pain (mostly flaring up with standing, walking, bending, physical activity) Up until my accident I had never experienced back pain and had been very active, walking/jogging daily at least 3 miles daily.
    After that, I was sent to have facet joint injections, I've had a series of 4 so far, none of which has helped my pain whatsoever. My doctor told me that this proves that my pain is not caused from an injury to the joint, but must be caused from a bad disk. I was then sent for a second set of MRI's and x-rays which (again) showed nothing.
    Now my doctor wants me to have a discogram which I have researched and are said to be extremely painful. I'm not interested in having back surgery, from my understanding, most back surgeries are unsuccessful and often people are in more pain after their procedures, I'm not willing to take that kind of a risk.
    My attorney tells me that I HAVE to submit to this painful procedure even though I don't want the surgery because they need the diagnositcs to prove that I'm not faking my injuries. I don't know if other Doctors would agree that I need this procedure or if I could find another Doctor to see me under my lien. My attorney assures me that the Doctor I'm seeing is one of the best and all of my tests and treatments are standard of care.
    My discogram is scheduled for next week, I'm very nervous and scared to have this done, I'm even more scared that I'm going to be in pain the rest of my life and there is really nothing anyone can do about it & I'm just being used by a greedy attorney & doctor who don't have my best interest at heart.
    Any responses or advice is greatly appreciated.
    thanks,
    Heather

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 03-11-2014, 09:54 AM   #2
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,235
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

    Can you get another opinion? Do you need to have the PI attorney involved?

    A discogram is a very invasive procedure. If you are not planning to have surgery, there is no reason to have it, as some doctors believe it leads to disc dessication, causes it to happen sooner than it might otherwise. If you aren't suing for damages or something similar, you might want to rethink agreeing to have the discogram.

    Do you have copies of your MRIs? It might be worth your while to take them to a different spine surgeon, even if you have to pay for itself. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and to have faith that it is correct and that you are being recommended the appropriate treatment. Back problems have a way of becoming chronic when not treated appropriately.

     
    Old 03-11-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
    heatherfromcali
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    heatherfromcali's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Auburn, California
    Posts: 22
    heatherfromcali HB User
    Re: low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

    Dear Teteri66,

    Thank you for your response. I guess I could start calling around my area in Northern California & ask if they would be willing to see a new patient on a lien. I do not have health Insurance and really can't afford to pay out of pocket. Before this happened I was just recovering from a Nasty Divorce where I had the life of my dreams with my Husband of 15 years and then boom: he left me in a very precarious position after he met a much younger woman at work and asked me for a Divorce. I was one of those foolish women who trusted my Husband to pay the bills while I stayed home with the kids, I had no way to prepare myself and he left me with 60k in debts and after not having worked for 11 years, I was trying to find a job after scraping together enough $ to file bankruptcy.
    I had literally gone out for the first time in years with this 'friend' of mine for my Birthday, and she worried that she'd had too much to drink to drive us home, so she says she has a friend who lives nearby and calls him. He agrees to drive us but says he wants to take his work van to drive us home because the 'gas is free' takes off out in the middle of nowhere on some long dirt road up a long hill & I begged him to let me out of the vehicle, he said "Oh, don't worry, I just have to make a stop at my friends house, it will only take a minute" then the Van runs out of gas so he says he will back down this long dirt road (cut into the side of a hill with a long drop on one side) clearly this was a bad idea with a large utility vehicle with no visability so I was extremely panicked and freaked out by then, I was screaming for him to stop and let me out, but no...instead he continues on and rolls the Van several times down the hill until we're precariously stuck on a tree. It was a nightmare beyond belief. They would not let me call 911, our purses had been thrown somewhere, so I couldn't have anyway, it took over an hour to climb out of the passenger window of the Van to safety while it swung back and forth and threatened to fall the rest of the way down a steep hillside. I've never been so terrified in my life. Do I plan on suing him? Since I was just barely starting to get my life together and hoping I could find work, and this injury has completely taken over my life and now it seems this incident has quite possibly ruined my life and he recklessly injured me: Yes, I plan to sue his *** off. Sorry if that sounds crude, but if you had been there to see what happened you would be outraged too. I can't take my Daughter to the mall anymore. I can't walk around the grocery store without being in excruciating pain, hell, I can't even walk to the mailbox without taking a pain pill first and knowing I will be in so much pain the rest of the afternoon I'll hardly be able to make it
    to the bathroom. I used to bike, hike, jog everyday, I used to be an aerobic instructor...Sorry, the outrageousness of this situation and what happened to me makes me really upset. Thank you for letting me vent....I will call around and see if I can find a doctor who would be willing to work on my lien. I thought the point of hiring an attorney was so that you didn't have to do that kind of thing and they do the work for you.
    Since I do plan on suing (the insurance company for pain and suffering) I guess that makes a difference and so I have to do whatever diagnostic test necessary to prove my injuries are real, that's what I hear you saying, is that correct?
    thanks again,
    Heather

     
    Old 03-11-2014, 04:04 PM   #4
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,235
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

    I'm not saying anything specific, just trying to understand your situation. I'm sorry you are going through all this. I very well know how devastating a back problem can be, whether it is caused by injury or by nature.

    Given your situation and lack of financial stability, it behooves you to have an attorney that you trust. Then in most cases, you need to rely on his/her judgment and experience. And yes, when you hire an attorney to represent you in a case such as yours, you do need to follow the attorney's suggestions and I suppose, follow through on what the doctor recommends.

    I don't know the details of your injuries, but based on what you have said thus far, it has been 18 months since the accident. Usually an injury that has not healed in this period of time should be sufficiently severe that one would think it would show up on one of the MRIs you have had. With a lumbar injury, it would be common to experience herniated discs and perhaps a compression fracture of the vertebra.

    Frankly I can't imagine why a spine surgeon would perform a discectomy on a patient unless there was sufficient evidence, visible on MRI, that there was one or more herniated discs.... Insurance carriers are so picky these days about what will or will not be covered, that a doctor has to be able to justify just why he is doing a particular procedure. A discectomy is an invasive procedure. As such it is done under sterile conditions, in some sort of operating room or other sterile environment, with the appropriate attending physicians...it is not an inexpensive procedure. You don't just go ordering a discogram on a person with healthy discs who exhibits symptoms of back pain.

    What are your symptoms? Have you been tested for sacroiliac dysfunction? It just seems like something other than discs are causing your symptoms....

     
    Old 03-11-2014, 11:00 PM   #5
    heatherfromcali
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    heatherfromcali's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Auburn, California
    Posts: 22
    heatherfromcali HB User
    Re: low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

    Thank you for your response, and trying to help, I really appreciate it.
    My symptoms are basically just ongoing low back pain worsened by activity especially prolonged standing or walking. I noticed it a few days after my accident when I tried to go for a walk (at first I was just resting and lying down, I had a cut across my side and I was taking pain killers, I was sore everywhere, but I really didn't realize I might have any kind of back injury) I used to be very active, but now I can't walk for even a quarter of a mile anymore without being doubled over in pain (it feels like I'm being stabbed in the back) It's frustrating that nothing (besides dessication) shows up on my tests so far, but the doctor tells me that about 5% of the time, a disk injury will not show up on traditional tests and this discogram/ct scan combination can show the area where the injury is when all else fails.
    I have read other posts/articles that say that although the test is extremely painful & expensive (my tests/treatments/procedures have totaled over 30k so far) that it can in fact show disc injuries that don't show otherwise.
    This is the part that is questionable to me: Since I'm more than reluctant to have back surgery & I have told my Doctor that I don't want to have surgery, it doesn't really make sense to me to have a test that is a pre-cursor to back surgery. Clearly the Doctor wants to talk me into having a surgery. Basically everything else has been ruled out already, so the only thing left it could be is a disk injury.
    I have researched these tests as I mentioned, and it is apparently 'standard of care' but I cannot find another doctor to see me (even if I did pay cash they don't want to get involved) I would like to be able to get a second opinion, or any other input at all. I spent the day on the phone calling doctors in my area & it appears I have no choice but to stick with my current course of action.
    I realize that there are people in the world who 'scam' insurance companies in order to get settlements. I assure you, I'm not one of those people. I would give anything to go back to that day & undo what happened, take a taxi home, and have my life back. I realize however that because of the reality of the world that my motives will be under question.

    I really just wondered what anyone might know about these tests (specifically discogram) & possibly if anyone has gone through an accident to end up with back problems what to expect in a situation like mine, and if indeed I could possibly benefit from going through with the surgery that they will most likely suggest that I have. Is it not true that most often surgery especially surgery on bad disks is often not something that has good results? This is what I've heard, but surgeons seem to have one thing on their mind: cut!
    I'm staying positive & keeping my spirits up, and I have a newfound respect for everyone who suffers with chronic back pain. Its been an expensive lesson in empathy.

    thanks again for any responses,
    ~ Heather

     
    Old 03-11-2014, 11:07 PM   #6
    heatherfromcali
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    heatherfromcali's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Auburn, California
    Posts: 22
    heatherfromcali HB User
    Re: low back pain: diagnostics, treatments etc..

    Ps. no one has mentioned sacroiliac joint dysfunction, I've never heard of it until you mentioned it. Is that something that can be caused or flared up due to injury? I will mention it to my doctor when I go back in a couple of weeks....

     
    Closed Thread

    Tags
    discogram



    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is Off
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:35 AM.





    © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!