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"Positive straight leg raise test" for lower back conditions?

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Old 09-19-2006, 07:16 PM   #1
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Avalon HB UserAvalon HB UserAvalon HB UserAvalon HB User
"Positive straight leg raise test" for lower back conditions?

Hello, I am 56, have severe degenerative disc disease, have already had one diskectomy surgery which didn't help, and in the opinion of 2 out of 3 spine specialists, further surgery (lumbar fusion) would be risky and may actually make my pain worse. I wrote some months ago saying I was thinking of applying for disability. Several of you wrote back and were very helpful. I am now on short-term disability and if my extensions continue to be approved, long-term disability (60% of pay) would kick in at the end of Nov. I am in contact with a lawyer who specializes in long-term disability. He said I may want to apply for Social Security disability now. That is why I am writing.

I was looking at the "disorders of the spine" that qualify for SSD. One of the things it says is "if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine);". This is a test for "lumbosacral nerve root irritation, for example due to disc prolapse". As far as I can recall from my medical reports, this test was negative for me. Would I be disqualified? I certainly have pain that shoots from my lumbar area around my buttock and down the front of my thigh. I also have numbness in my right hand -- possibly from cervical disc problems. I've been told I have "severe DDD at all levels". I am in constant pain. I clearly have DDD, but I'm concerned about this test. Anyone have any info or experience in this area? Thanks for any help or advice!

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Old 09-20-2006, 04:23 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,260
Re: "Positive straight leg raise test" for lower back conditions?

i'm not sure exactly how SSD rates their claims. BUT with DDD from the neck down i can only imagine the pain you're in. i am also in my 50's and have alot of bulges disks in my lumbar but it is my neck that's the problem. besides 3 bulges i have stenosis, a pinched nerve a huge bone spur and the early signs of myelopathy. sounds to me like you have a bad case of sciatica. the pain starts in a butt cheek and burns the whole way down the leg into the foot. sometimes sprains/strains are worse than anything. wishing the best of luck to you.

Old 09-20-2006, 01:44 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
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charliecat31 HB User
Re: "Positive straight leg raise test" for lower back conditions?

I would agree with your attorney and start the SSD filing now. It takes a long time to get through the denials, appeals and hearings so the sooner you file the sooner you can get started. It took me over 3 years to get approved. I'm also PTD with W. Comp. I have DDD in 3 discs in my low back. I've never heard of straight leg raising being a condition of approval or denial for SSD. I do know there are very specific criteria you have to meet, but this is just not one I've heard.

Two things that were very helpful in my case were a FCE (Functional Capacity Evaluation and a VE (Vocational Evaluation). If you haven't had both of these I would talk to your doctors and attorney about having them done.

Good luck with the process - if you have any questions, I'll be glad to try and answer them if I can.

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