Could use some advice

I injured my back in June, thoracic and lower back. I was out of work for almost 8 weeks. I did PT twice a week. I had an MRI done in August because the pain just wasn’t going away and I had numbness and tingling down my left leg. The MRI showed “9 mm anterior subluxation of l5 upon s1 which stretches the outer annulus and contributes to central canal and lateral recess stenosis. Loss of disc height and a diffusely bulging disc. This leads to moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis. There is slight compression of the left L5 nerve root in the foremen.”

Because this is workman’s comp I’ve seen different doctors at this health clinic. It’s pretty frustrating. I had an ESI 10 days ago, and it helped with the numbness and tingling on my butt and thigh. 

I was cleared to work with no restrictions and I have a pretty labor intense job, lifting heavy stuff most of the day and now my back is really hurting.

I don’t have any follow up appointments or PT scheduled. 



  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,128
    edited 09/15/2018 - 2:03 PM

    Do you have a WC lawyer? That’s where I would start?

    Without a lawyer in a serious injury case it could be hard to get the necessary medical treatment approved.

    I bet if you had a lawyer read your MRI report he or she would say “Like hell you should be working without restrictions!!”

    If you don’t have a lawyer maybe call the bar association for your area and see what lawyers have at least 15 years experience and/or have argued cases at the state Supreme Court level.

    It sounds like you’re dealing with a pretty serious injury. Going back to work at MMI (maximum medical improvement) when, in reality, you’re still $&#%’d up is not smart. 

    Lawyers will know the doctors in your area who will be most impartial to you as well. It sounds like you’ve been exclusively seeing doctors who your employer approved of you to see. That usually is a disadvantage to the injured worker.

    You don’t want to take a bad injury and make it worse. And your MRI is very recent (last month).

    Since your back is “really hurting” any good lawyer would say you need to be in an ongoing pain management program (once a month appmt).

    If too much time elapses without you seeing a doctor for your work injury then it looks to others (the insurance company) like you’re not hurting any longer when you are hurting and very much struggling.

  • I don’t have a lawyer and that’s something I wasn’t even considering. My main concern is how much more damage can I do ? The doctors said this is something I was born with, spondylothesis, and I can’t cause any further damage. I wanted to give it a full work week and see how it felt. No good. Now I’m stuck without any follow up appointments. Thanks for the advise , I’ll just make another appointmen on Monday with the epidural surgeon I guess.  Btw I’m 37, not overweight and in good health otherwise.

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,128
    edited 09/15/2018 - 10:05 PM

    Which doctor said you were born with this condition? A doctor you saw AFTER the work injury?

    Based on:

    1. Your MRI results

    2. Your continued pain 

    3. Working a laborious job (heavy lifting)

    I can’t emphasize enough seriously consulting a lawyer.

    Even if you do have a pre-existing condition there are provisions in WC law if and when you substantially aggravate a pre-existing condition.

    It could be these WC doctors are telling you it’s a pre-existing condition to abdicate themselves of future responsibility concerning your work injury.

    I’m gonna tag @EMS Guy on your post and see if he’s willing to chime in here. 

    I have a feeling he’ll strongly agree with me on the lawyer recommendation based on the three points I outlined above.

    This is your life and your future we’re talking about. And you’re only 37.

  • The doctor from the clinic who went over my MRI with me told me I was born with this. I’ve never had back issues before. I’m definitely going to make an appointment on Monday if this pain doesn’t subside. I just don’t know if I’m overreacting or if that clinic just doesn’t care. 

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,128
    edited 09/15/2018 - 10:08 PM

    You’re not overreacting. Not at all.

    Worker’s comp doctors are often very biased against injured workers because their  job is to keep medical costs down, which often includes understating and under-documenting the true and full extent of an injured worker’s injuries (or blaming pain from a work injury on a pre-existing condition).

    The “you were born with this” line sounds like total BS. 

    Especially since you don’t have a history of back pain.

    In my almost two years posting on this board you’re the most in need of a lawyer person I’ve come in contact with. Ultimately it’s your decision but the longer you wait the more complicated things get.

    Sometimes injections work and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they help but only temporarily. 

    If you need surgery a WC attorney can help ensure you receive lost wages while off work, 100% covered surgery, medications, PT, chiropractic care (if applicable), acupuncture, etc.

    Every time you go to the clinic they probably look to see if you have a lawyer yet and when they see you don’t, they figure they can keep jerking you around.

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