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DDD with fun MRI results

Hello all. I really came into the forum because I just don’t know where to turn to at the moment. People really try to be understanding, but all in all they don’t quite get where I am coming from. I’m 33, female, and have been working in agriculture the last 10 years. 

Before all this I had just been having some sharp, mild pain in my hip/butt region for roughly 6 months. It had been intermittent. Lasting a couple weeks, pain free a couple of weeks, so on and so forth. 

On December 10 I was walking at work and felt a sudden, severe pain in my right leg. I powered through my work day, got home, went to bed. When I got up the next morning I couldn’t bare weight on that leg... that’s a pain I don’t wish on anyone... EVER. Long story short, went to the ER, had a CT done that showed a lot but the main problem being a herniated disc at L4 L5 that could be pressing on the L5 root. Went and saw my PCP later that day, she ordered an MRI and gave me a referral to the Spine Center. 

I had the MRI on the 16 that showed: 

Straightening of the normal lumbar lordosis. Modic Type ll end plate changes at L5-S1. 

T12-L1: Shallow disc bulge

L1-L2: Minimal disc bulge

L2-L3: Shallow disc bulge. Central annular tear. Mild facet hyperthropy. 

L3-L4: Shallow disc bulge with a superimposed broad shallow central protrusion. Mild facet hyperthropy. 

L4-L5: Diffuse disc bulge with a superimposed right subarticular extrusion with inferior migration which impinges on the right L5 nerve root. Mild central canal narrowing. Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. (The problem child at the moment.)

L5-S1: Disc osteophyte complex. Mild facet hyperthropy. Mild central stenosis. Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. 

So Rehabilitation and Pain Services Specialist does my weakness and relax testing on the 26th. Suggests one epidural injection to see if it would help and immediately refers me to the Neurosurgeon for surgery consultation. They actually got me in right then, they decide they want to see how one shot goes and then it’s straight into the microdiscectomy on L4-L5. 

I had the shot on Jan 2nd, and it helped a little for about 2 weeks. I could stand straight after the shot at least and the pain was definitely more manageable. I loved sleeping in bed. Roughly 3 days ago the shot seemed to wear off. First day was standing/walking for 10 minutes then the pain would kick. Second day was 3 minutes and wouldn’t get relief from what was giving relief. Today... it’s all the time with mild symptoms in my left leg along with the extreme pain, weakness, and tingling in my right. I hate that it seems bilateral at the moment. And I’m back in the recliner at night. 

In all this I took 3 weeks off work, then came back on a conditional light duty as we are waiting for WC to approve or deny the claim. Which also has me waiting for any action what so ever. I hate being in this limbo. I just want to feel better. 

The MRI scared me. It looks like a bomb that may go off or may stay silent. It has me thinking about other options for work because I’m young and the back doesn’t reflect that. 

I feel for you all that have that have been dealing with this longer. It’s horrible. 

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Comments

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,235
    edited 01/24/2020 - 6:20 AM

    Welcome to the forum. I would say that the bomb (as you worded it) has already gone off. Now come the decisions.

    First of all I got hurt at work as well and had to get a workmen’s comp attorney. There has never been any out of pocket cost. The lawyer works for free unless and until I receive compensation.

    I wish I had retained a lawyer sooner. You won’t make that same mistake since your injury happened only last month.

    A back injury can unfortunately be a lifelong condition. I’m still taking meds every day but have never had surgery, as I’m not a candidate for surgery.

    I’ve been on light duty for four years. 

    A good worker’s comp lawyer can be invaluable navigating the process.

    Please keep us updated and good luck with things. I’ve totally been in your situation so know you’re not alone with any of this. 

    Feel free to ask me any questions.

  • Welcome jbrushmore we’re glad you’re here!

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you visited the Herniated Disc Health Center on Spine-health? It has a number of comprehensive articles and videos that you might find helpful, including common causes of a herniated disc, symptoms, and treatment options. I hope you find this information helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.

    Chip 

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

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  • @Jbrushmore

    Just to add, regardless of whether they approve your claim a WC lawyer is essential IMO, especially since you were merely walking (if that’s an accurate account) when the injury occurred. 

    Example A: A maintenance guy is walking around at work and collapses and has a heart attack. Probably won’t be deemed a work injury since he wasn’t performing a duty when the injury happened.

    Example B: A police officer learns over his CB the liquor store down the street has just been robbed. He arrives at the scene and sees the perp fleeing on foot and chooses to run after him. The officer experiences shortness of breath while pursuing the criminal and collapses and suffers a heart attack. 

    Example B is most definitely a WC situation because it’s clearly understood and well-defined that a police officer’s job description is to pursue and/or apprehended suspects during or immediately following the commission of a crime.

    I hope your claim is approved. If not a good WC attorney can likely get it approved for you.

    My company is pretty lenient on approving claims. However, just because a claim is approved doesn’t mean you won’t have to fight to get necessary treatments (physical therapy, MRI’s, injections, surgery, etc.) paid for.

    Many states also include a separate, second psychiatric claim for injured workers experiencing chronic pain related to their work injury. The impairment rating for the psychiatric part is usually higher than the impairment rating for the medical/physical portion of the claim.

    Just some WC 101 for you going forward. Although my hope for you is that you get this squared away and fully resolved and don’t incur chronic complications.

  • @L4_L5

    I totally get what you are saying in that extent with WC. It’s why I didn’t file immediately. There’s a lot of opinion on whether or not it was a claimable thing, by work, by me, by the first ER doctor who I shouldn’t have listened to in the first place because he was 100% wrong on about everything he said. 

    I was walking our manure pits at taking our environmental swabs. This particular pit had had various water leaks that tend to make the manure a little like quick sand. My foot was stuck and it was pulling it out of the manure where I ended up with the pain. (I am very lucky the Live Production Manager was with me at the time.) 

    I am in the process of lawyering up at this moment. I talked to him the day after I filed, mainly because I had told work I wanted to treat it as a work comp claim on Dec 19 and then I actually had to call the “middle man” company on Dec 26 to file because they never started the claim. Both Safety Managers had told me numerous times that there was no way this happened at work, that WC won’t accept the claim, so on and so forth. I almost honestly didn’t file. 

    Small things stick out with WC, like they delayed in calling me, (4 business days, included a weekend) I had to call the “middle man” company and I had a call by that afternoon, and then the release was sent the 31st. Then it’s the medical records. 3rd party company said they were sent on the 15th of Jan, claim adjuster says they still aren’t there as of yesterday. They definitely don’t return phone calls, ever. It just seems off, and I know things take time, but it’s been kind of trying and I feel like I’m getting nowhere. So it’s time to get someone who knows how the system works because I most definitely do not. 

    Yeah, the bomb has gone off in my back I suppose. I wasn’t expecting at all for things to feel worse at the 6 week mark. It’s frustrating as I feel like I’m doing absolutely nothing about it. 

    Thanks for all of the advice. It made me feel more confident about going to a lawyer for this, it’s been a very hard decision to make. 


  • @L4_L5

    A detail I keep forgetting about was two days before this I slipped on ice at work and caught myself on the building to keep from falling. I ended up slicing my hand open that day, ended up with 4 stitches. WC covered that though. Haha. Which thinking about it was the same side, my right hand. Hm. 

    I also have no history of back issues medically documented. Honestly thought that pain in my booty/hip was just aging crap so never worried about it. 


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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,235
    edited 01/25/2020 - 6:32 AM

    @jbrushmore

    My friend sliced his hand in a factory and WC covered the cost of seven stitches. An injury like that probably isn’t a big deal compared to a herniated disc as a herniated disc can be a life-changing problem. That’s likely why you’re getting pushback on the newer injury.

    It’s good you had a witness (Live Production Manager). Hopefully an incident report was completed the same day as the injury and that you were seen by a doctor the same day as well.

    Even if you weren’t that’s where a good lawyer can make a big difference.

    After reading your full explanation it most certainly sounds like an occupational-induced injury.

    Please keep in touch. I wish you good luck and try not to get too frustrated if things are initially denied left and right as that’s very common.

    I personally would try to get the opinions of two different neurosurgeons before making any surgical decisions but that’s just me.

    Lastly, it appears you work or live less than three hours from one of the most highly respected hospitals in the United States. That’s a big plus, especially if it’s deemed surgery is warranted/recommended.

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