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Total Decompression L4/L5


I was in an automobile accident unrelated to work in Sep 2016. The accident caused lumbar pain and numbness in my right leg. My PCP ordered an MRI to assess the issue and it turned out to be a bulging disc at L4/L5/S1. So, now my doctor referred me to a neurologist in Oct to get a better description of the trauma. At this point the doctor took me out of work. This is when all the medical procedures were started. I started out with my initial epidural injection in Nov 16. After this injection I went 2-3 weeks but, nothing happened, it didn't help at all. Now, at this point the neurosurgeon suggested Decompression surgery at the L4/L5 S1, levels this was Dec 16. My doctor ordered another MRI in Dec to verify the initial image and that there wasn't any new issues. Ok, now I've been out of work 3 months almost with no relief. After they looked at the new images they decided to do the surgery. They scheduled the surgery in Jan to get past the holidays and plus they were booked up a few weeks out.

 On Jan 19 I had the surgery and I had to stay in the hospital for a few days because, I wasn't able to walk or stand. They told me initially that I would be able to walk out the hospital the same day, well that didn't work. Ok, let's get to the end. It's been 9 months I've had 3 epidural injections and the surgery. 

After going through everything, I haven't recovered and now, I'm having issues on my left side. As of June 30, my doctor has made his final results. I've been diagnosed with Lumbosacral Radiculopathy, Degenerative Disc Diseases and Post Lamincotomy Syndrome (FBS). I haven't recovered any from the trauma and surgery. 

This is what I'm concerned about. My employer sent the doctor a letter asking for their recommendations and any restrictions. My employer also wanted to know if I could come back to work with or without accommodations. My doctor give me restrictions for no repetitive Stooping, Bending or Twisting And no lifting over 40lb. Also, my doctor asked me if I had applied for SSA yet. He advised me to apply because I can't sit or stand for about 20 minutes and my walking is limited to about 20 feet but that's on level ground. If I have to go up steps or an incline, I'm limited to about 5 to 8 feet of walking before I start hurting worse and my leg goes numb. I have to lay down flat or sit reclined. 

I have a desk job at a manufacturing company that requires me to be seated for 8-10 hours a day keying numbers in my computer. I'm responsible for coordinating operations and maintenance for scheduling repairs to machinery. Our safety program requires me to walk or stand for extended periods of time. We have meetings daily that I'm required to be present at and I have stairs to climb everyday. My job is a very high level job and requires a lot of communications plus, it's stressful. 

I had a nervous breakdown May because I've been very depressed. I had to stay in a mental hospital for 4 days because of worrying about everything, now I'm taking depression medication. I'm not physically or mentally able to go back to work. I'm going to have a second opinion on my back because my other doctor has reached their MMI. 

Does anybody have any advice or input for me?

I have an attorney for SSD that says I have a case.

I was wondering how to address my employer if they say I have to return to work now since my doctor released me with the restrictions. There's no way I would be able to work now with my pain. I'm receiving LTD and out of work now for almost 12 months. Should I talk to an employment attorney?

I'm sorry this is so long.



  • Thank you Olderthandirt,

    Yeah I was concerned about that 40 lb limit myself, I was on the 10 lb limit for the first 4 months. I'm wondering what my employer will say about the restrictions. I just want to make sure I do the right thing. I've read some articles of employees resigning from their position and it hurt them in the end. I've already excepted that I probably won't be able to go back to work at least to my current employer. I guess I'll just have to ride it out to the end. I'd like to see some comments of others that may have waited until their employer just terminated them. I know my employers policy is that, if you our terminated due to a medical disability, you can still keep your family on the health insurance for the length of the LTD. The employee has to pay so much a month. If you resign the insurance is dropped and the employee would have to go to cobra or other. Anyway,  I appreciate the opinion and experience comments. 


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