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surgery or not? grade 2 spondy L5/S1

drumlicksddrumlicks Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, I have grade 2 spondy L5/S1; it was discovered when Carnival Cruise Lines hired me, and on my pre-hire physical I honestly disclosed my back and hip pain, not knowing what it was...they denied me at first but then when they saw on the physical where I disclosed the pain I was having, the sent me to Dr. EDITED in Atlanta...CCL was paying for my epidurals and my Cymbalta and Lyrica; on my fourth epidural they sent me home and when the doctor wrote that I hadn't yet reached maximum medical cure, they cut me off my medicine and fired me...I called CCL medical and asked the head doctor there, if I were willing to sign a "pre-existing condition" waiver regarding my spondy, could I have my job back? They answered back 'yes' and sent the form for me to sign, but I haven't yet signed it...I had written some attorneys and one of them called me back, listened to my story and said "it's a tough case, I'll be honest, but I'll take it- I'm not guaranteeing a win..." If I take my job back (drummer in the lounge band), can I live with this condition, or should I take the lawsuit option and roll the dice? I've done PT and Cymbalta and Lyrica and shots, and the shots work the best by far, unfortunately...any advice? Thanks a lot, Aaron W.

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Edited by moderator paulgla



  • Aaron,

    Welcome to SH - sorry to hear how CCL just cut you - I am assuming if you sign the waiver they are off the hook for paying medical care associated with your back.

    I too have grade 2 spondy at the same level as you. I also have a large herniation - that said, stability and progression of the slip are big concerns. My OS has told me that I can live with this condition - if fact, he says usually spondy is not symptomatic in itself. Do you have a herniation? Is there any disc degeneration? Take a visit to and you will read some pretty interesting artilces regarding spondy.

    I gather from your post that your spondy is symptomatic, but the meds and epidurals are helping with the pain - that was the case for me, but I have been on Mobic, Valium, Neurontin and when needed Tramadol for just about a year. I started tapering back off the meds - except Neurontin and my pain got worse. I expected it - just wanted to see what dividends the PT was paying and if I could deal without some meds. The answer is NO and that is why I am pressing on with a Fusion (TLIF). It is scary, but at 39 I can't be on these meds all of my life so I am taking my chance with the Fusion. Do your research - there is so much info out there. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

    All the best and good luck, Mike
  • Have a good discussion with the lawyer. I personally am not a lawsuit-happy person. If you can continue to work for CCL and get some care for your back, that would be ideal. As I understand spondy (and I am NOT a medical professional) if the disease progresses, you will have further slippage of your spine and you will most likely have more pain. Do you have DDD also? I had a bit of everything -- arthritis, DDD, spondy, and three totally blown discs, so the choice was fairly apparent to me. I've seen those little stools that drummers sit on, and they don't look particularly comfortable to me. Have you gotten a cushion or Back Joy for your drummer's stool? That may help you to be more comfortable.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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