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Back Problems Message Board

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I am new the the boards. I just need to vent and would like to know what some of you out there think.

I am 22 years old. I injured my back a year ago at work. I have been going through alot with workmans comp. Getting treated like crap. Stuck with a case manager that goes to my appts with me(she lies to my attorney, about what the doctors say). Doctors that treat me like crap. Its just all a big game to them. Here I am stuck at home not being able to work because of my pain. I can't do anything that I used to enjoy. My life is pretty much over (feels like it anyways). I can't be on my feet for very long otherwise it shoots my pain level up. My feet and legs hurt all the time, I have pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and cramps in my heels, toes, bottom of feet & calfs. My legs feel weak when I climb steps or walk short distances. Iv'e tripped over my own feet before because of it. My back pain seems to go away when my legs and feet hurt really bad. When my calf and foot pain lets up my back/butt/and upper leg starts hurting again. Its all crazy.

I am currently on neurontin, celebrex, amitriptyline & percocet. Also using a TENS unit. Which only helps with mild pain. Does nothing for severe pain.

Iv'e tried physical therapy many different times, last time i went it made me hurt worse. Ive tried adjustments, steroid injections. The first injection got rid of most of my pain. The 2nd one I had did not give me any pain relief. I think it flared me up. I had it on a tuesday the 2nd of march and the following sat, I was in so much pain i was balling my eyes out. The pain has let up some that I learned to stay off my feet. So I basically have to be a couch potato otherwise I am popping percocet every 4-6 hours to try to get rid of the pain.

Iv'e had a EMG done.... Normal results.

Iv'e had 2 MRIs done. The 1st one was done 1 month after my injury. The second one done 1 year after my injury. I think there are some major differences in the 2 MRIs. It got worse.
The results are: for the first MRI
HISTORY: 21-year-old with low back pain and pain in both legs.

TECHNIQUE: Sagittal and axial images were abtained of the lumbar spine.

FINDINGS: At the L4-L5 level, there is mild disc height loss as well as minimal posterior disc bulge, which causes no nerve root impingment.

At the L5-S1 level, minimal central disc bulge is seen, which causes no nerve root impingement.

IMPRESSION: very mild degenerative changes as decribed in detail above.


The second one is

Hisory : 22 year old with right ankle and calf pain.

Comparison: previous MRI

Findings: Multiplanar MRI of the lumbar spine was preformed with out contrast material and shows normal marrow signal within the visualized lumbar vertebral bodies. There is no compression deformity or marrow edema. The intervertebral discs show slight loss of disc signal at L5-S1 with slight disc space narrowing which was present on the prior exam. There is minimal disc bulging at the L4-L5 level but there is no focal protrusion. There is a small to moderate size right paracentral disc protrusion at the L5-S1 which does appear to contact the thecal sac in the medial margin of the S1 nerve root which is of uncertain significance.
There is mild facet arthropathy at the L4-L5 on this exam.

Impression: Mild low lumbar degenerative disc disease with small right paracentral disc protrusion at L5-S1 abutting the thecal sac and S1 nerve root


I went to a neuro surgeon yesterday to see if there was a surgical option for me and the doctor said he would not do surgery on me. He said to get a second opinion and maybe someone else would do it. He also make a smart remark to my case manager "Work comp people never seem to heal."

I just do not know what to do anymore. I have a feeling that my current doctor will not send me for a second opinion since it is workmans comp. He treats me like crap. He tries to make it sound like i am making up symptoms.
He told me that my symptoms and my exam don't add up. Typical work comp doctor huh?

Well thanks for reading my long story. Hopfully someone out there will have some advice for me? I just dont know what to do anymore. The depression from the pain and not being able to do anything is over ruling my life. and to have doctors that treat me like crap don't help. and not to forget a case manager that lies and tried to put words into my mouth.

Thanks for letting me vent,
Hi There
When I read your story, it really hit home for me. Last August i was on a customer site and slipped in the bathroom(water on floor). When the accident first happened everything hurt, but after a month it seemed that it was my lower back, burning in butt, numbness from top of neck to top of head, leg would give out so they gave me a cane. Had xrays, MRI, nerve conducting test aand physcio,( which seemed to make things worst. My Doctor sent be for another physcio accessment and they thought that it was my Thorasic spine ( higher back). Told them that my higher back did not hurt, but they ordered a MRI for the upper back and found that I have three bulging discs and something wrong with another. I thought that it was the second accessment that did it because since that time my whole back is in pain. Both my legs ache so bad and the bottoms of both feet hurt. Some days it hurts so bad that if it wasn;t for my children I think I would end it all.
I am on so many pills to just help me get through the day. I have tried stopping them for a week and I can hardly do anything. They just make me get though the day.
I have a four year old that I can't even play ball with, put in or out of the bath, get down on the floor and rough house with like I did with my others.
I was surprized that they found that it was my thorasic spine that had a problem which they say affects the lower back, maybe you should have it checked. When they do a MRI it is for either the lower or higher but not for both. It just sounded like the problem that I had and it took them months to find the answer. I have a specialist that makes me feel that I should not take up her time and never litens to what I say. I am going to request another specialist for another opion. The only thing I can say is that workers comp has been great, my case nurse and worker, so many times I have called the workers comp nurse just to cry because I am so depressed and have no one to talk to(just family and I have always been the strong one). I am from Canada and maybe that is the difference, but I would see if it is possible to go over her head and tell your concerns. After all companies pay for this insurance coverage and you should get someone you can relate to.
I hope that everything comes together for you ( you are half my age and should recover better).

Good luck and God be with you


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