Not new to back problems


Back in 2001, I had a workers comp injury.  I tore L4-5 disc.  They did a fusion at that level.  I spent the next couple years managing the pain and going through rehab.  Finally, settled my case around 2006, but kept the pallitive care.  I went back to college and graduated with  Masters in special education.  During my teaching career, I have been relatively  pain free.  In August 2017, I took a position in a preschool special ed classroom.  I am picking up kids and sitting on the foor.  Gradually, the back pain came back but I was able to survive.  By Wednesday of every week, my back and hip would leave me in pain.  I spent the weekend to rest and recover.  Only to go back on Monday start over again.  

About two weeks ago, a student dropped her weight causing a sharp pain in my back.  This set off a round of severe back and leg pain, not to mention nerve symptoms.  I had to file workers comp. Their Dr gave me muscle relaxers, antiinflammatories, and PT.  Something didn't feel right, so I went to my family dr today.  She agreed and ordered an MRI.  Also gave me a shot of steroids and tordol.  Sent me home with pain meds, PT and referral  to a spine specialist.  

The Dr said that the problems are coming at the L5-S1 level.  This freaks me out as it is the level below my fusion.  If this is torn or herniated, what are my options to treat it beside another fusion.?




  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,238
    edited 07/25/2019 - 10:40 AM

    Hi Jennifer,

    Why are you seeing a family doctor for a work injury? If I was in your situation I’d get a comp lawyer and they may recommend a specific doctor to see.

    Otherwise you’ll struggle to get this new MRI allowed in your claim.

    About two weeks ago, a student dropped her weight causing a sharp pain in my back.
    It sounds like you were working when this happened.

    If the student who dropped her weight caused an L5-S1 issue I see if it can be allowed in a comp claim.

  • I saw the family dr to order the MRI and get a referral to see a spine specialist.  Workers require it in Arizona.   I had to open a new claim because both injuries occurred in different states and my Dr is saying that there is no connection to my first injury. The claims adjuster so far has been reasonable and approving things.  She already approved PT and medications.  She said that she will approve an MRI.  

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,238
    edited 02/17/2018 - 2:04 PM

      I had to open a new claim because both injuries occurred in different states and my Dr is saying that there is no connection to my first injury. 
    When you say “my doctor” said there’s no connection do you mean your family doctor or your worker’s comp. doctor? 

    That’s good things are moving along and getting approved.

  • Hi

    Took me a while to find my original post.  I saw my family  dr.  We did an MRI on Saturday and got the results.  I have a central fissure (tear) supermposed on a disc bulge with no nerve room involvement at L5-s1 level.  

    I am surprised that there is no nerve root involvement as I am dealing with alot of sciatic and nerve symptoms.  I see an Orthropedic spine surgeon on Tuesday.  I hope they can fix this without surgery.  I had something very similar but at the L4-5 level but it resulted in a fusion.  



  • How long did u wait before having the fusion?

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  • I currently have a disc bulge and central tear L5S1. Also a bulge at L4/5

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,238
    edited 03/01/2018 - 7:00 PM

    Which doctor looked at your MRI and said no nerve impingement? 

    The radiologist?

    Or a neurologist or neurosurgeon?

    I’m glad you’re seeing a surgeon. If I were you I’d take my MRI to the surgeon and make sure he takes a very close look at it.

    If the MRI was paid for by Worker’s Comp rather than your own insurance I’d make sure to get a second opinion on it.

  • Hi

    I waited a year before the L4-5 fusion because of workers comp.  I started losing bladder control then they realized that more damage was done.  They found it on the discogram. 

    The Dr that read my report is the radiologist.  I am seeing is an Orthropedic spine surgeon at a spine institute.  He specializes in spine problems and came highly recommended.  I am taking the MRI CD and report to appt.  I am getting nervous going to this appt as I do not want surgery.  I am hoping that they can do epidural steroid injections to get the swelling and pain down.  

    I am doing PT but we are limited because of the pain.  

  • Please don’t be nervous. You’ve been down this road before and sound like a trooper.

    I’m sure conservative treatments would at least be considered first. 

    Just make sure to adamantly communicate to the surgeon that you prefer trying injections first, if he feels that’s a sage approach too and is onboard with it.

    I’m with you on the PT thing. PT is excellent for lots of conditions but for the disc problem in my back it didn’t do bupkis.

  • What country are you in pls Phx1974?

  • Phx 1974 - If you don't mind could u pls tell me abit about how ur annular tear affected u that year previous to ur surgery. It is extremely hard for me to find ppl who have had a tear and then gone on to get it fused. Any info from u wud be much appreciated. Adam. Sydney. Australia. 32yr old male. Been suffering now with annular tear for 10 months.

  • She said in an earlier post she currently lives in Arizona.

  • My Dr is saying that there is no connection to my first injury.
    If you had a WC atty I’m sure they would beg to differ. How many times have we seen stories where someone has a disc issue at one particular level and then years later they have trouble with the one directly above or below the initial bad disc?

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