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DDD, and I am wondering if I can safely go back to work next week

I had an MRI in June but still waitting to see a specialist, findings are: Mild to moderate degenerative spondylosis is seen between L4-S1. Of note is right L4-L5 foraminal narrowing resulting from a disc bulge that displaces but does not compress the exiting L4 nerve root. L5-S1 Near complete disc space narrowing. As well there is notable at least moderate narrowing of the L5-S1 foramen with possible irritation of the exiting L5 nerve root with complete effacement of fat surrounding the exiting L5 nerve root. No compression is seen at any level,
I have a job that is very active doing lifting pulling and pushing, and because WCB re opened my claim but denied wage loss I am forced to return to work in this condition, and I am scared I may do even more damage. If anyone has been through this I could sure use your insight!


  • charryccharry Posts: 5,661
    edited 07/14/2012 - 1:09 PM
    Not sure if you can get a Lawyer regarding your Workman's Comp? I had back pain 3 months before my MRI and once I found out I had herniated disc and DDD from constant lifting, bending & twisting I haven't been back to work for over 4 years. I could have gone workmans comp but thankfully had short and long term disability. The one main reason I can't work is because I can't do my job safely on narcotics as well as to make myself worse. My herniated disc healed on it's own but then ended up with another bulging disc and back pain just never goes and I;m not a candidate for surgery after seeing 4 Ortho and Neurosurgeons for their opinion . I've had some healing of sciatica so still hopeful to get back to work one day but as I'm 52 now still not sure..

    Hopefully the Orthopedic Surgeon will be able to help you. Maybe you can call and see if they can put you on a cancellation list to get in sooner. Will your Family Dr. be able to get you a sick note or therapy? I hope things improve for you. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Im not sure what i should do..but i have a meeting next week with workers advisors about comp. As for a specialist its in the works right now. I saw this ortho spine specialist in 2003 and pretty much pegged what would happen in the future back then so hopefully he can help. Hope you have more good days then bad charry. I know how painful and depressing things can get
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  • Suggest you talk to your doctor. You may be able to get a fit note recommending return to work on light duties. If there is an HR professional discuss options with them.
  • my regular GP said no working, another GP I saw because mine was gone told me I could but I think the reason why he said I could is simply because he does not care, (I know for a fact this doctor lies to his patients), The problem is WCB re-opened my claim that dates back to 1993 because the condition has gotten much worse radiographicly they can not deny it. But because I am a seasonal worker they are denying WL. So I really do not have a choice, it's go back to work till I can not anymore and then get WL or loose everything. That is the choice I face. And so far I have decided I'm going back to work in a week. My fiance is not happy about it but I need to do something.
  • suzannewildersssuzannewilders Posts: 9
    edited 07/17/2012 - 4:12 AM
    can you get your doctor to write you a fit note recommending phased return saying back part time say 8 - 12 for the first week and then 8 - 1 next week.
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  • gabriel777ggabriel777 Posts: 29
    edited 07/26/2012 - 4:52 AM
    Some good news finally....workers comp has completely re-opened my claim, so i am no longer being forced to go back to work! YAY! lol
  • backhurtsbbackhurts Posts: 1
    edited 08/03/2012 - 12:06 PM
    I have been unable to work for 2 years. I have a Neurological Stimulator implanted.I have been diagnosed with DDD and my doctor says there is nothing more that can be done. I am on narcotic pain meds daily. Workers comp has denied my claim saying DDD is not work related. I am currently in a law suit with my works workers comp insurance. My job was very physical, Lots of lifting bending stooping and using my back to hand dig and basically a physically demanding job daily. Is it true that DDD is hereditary and not work related? I am only 47 and had major back problems sense I was 45. Do you think im fighting a law suit I cannot win? I would really appreciate some feedback or your experience if you had this same situation. My lawyer is suing for loss of earning capacity because I can no longer work due to my back problems and the fact that I will be on narcotic pain meds the rest of my life. thank You
  • Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with comp, and that you are in such pain. I am wondering if you had any x-ray's, CT scan's or MRI's done when you injured yourself. When i originally injured myself in 1993 I had a Ct scan followed by an MRI that showed what the problem was, and it correlated with my symptoms. Because I had imaging tests that supported my claim back then it was allowed. Eventually I went for surgery in 1995 due to the central disc herniation causing L5 and cauda equina syndrome, and that is what started my DDD so for myself it was not hereditary but aquired which I think makes more sense. When a disc is badly damaged and surgery is performed then you can be assured DDD will eventually happen. I also have a very demanding job working in the oilfield. And now with current imaging studies showing a complete collapse of the same level and herniation at the level above. It is fairly straight forward that this is all due to the original injury, even 17 years later. However worker's comp is different in other provinces in Canada, as for comp in USA I am not to familiar with. But i think that the more proof you can aquire for your case the better. The most important thing is documentation, imaging tests and support from your doctors. Hope this helps backhurts.
    I might end up being told there is nothing they can do as well, and the thought of being on narcotics the rest of my days makes me want to puke! At the same time though, i am preparing myself for that possibility of being in this shape till I die.
    Keep me posted and if you want to talk more at length, i am always willing to help a fellow spiney!
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