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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Hi Debbie...I don't think we have "met" on here yet....i usually post on the Pain Mgmt. board...

As far as disability goes, from my knowledge as I filed in June and am going through the process now...That you will need to have either your Pain Management Dr. or a Board Certified Neurosurgeon stating medically that you are completely disabled because of these issues. And yes...they have to fill out the functional capacity reports that SS sends to them.

Otherwise it will most likely be an automatic denial and then you have to go through seeing Social Securities' Drs. for all of this and that is basically starting from scratch as they have to diagnose you...

The DDD is pretty much a standard thing for anyone over the age of 25-30....so it's really not a "disease" but just means there are changes in one's spine and discs which happen with age....

It looks like you have a few bone spurs...as well as a bit of the natural curving (lordosis) in your neck is straightening out..but they always go on degrees.

May I ask what type of Dr. you see at this pain clinic? As only a Neurosurgeon or Orthopedic surgeon can determine whether you need surgery or not.

And even then...you need to make sure they are Board Certified and you see at least 2 or even 3 of them and they do NOT know one another. Then if you are getting every single one of them stating you need the same treatment/surgery then it's to be considered.

For me...I've had 3, two-level, cervical fusions and I still have 3 severe herniations right now in lower cervical/upper thoracic and lumbar region but I will not have another fusion surgery unless there is direct threat of paralysis.

There are other types of surgery that are less invasive that may be a consideration for you as well.

May I ask what treatments you have been getting? Like Physical therapy, traction, injections, TENS unit, aqua therapy?

Or what type of medications have you tried like muscle relaxers or nerve pain medications?

And last question....sorry since I am catching up here with your journey....but how long have you been having symptoms and what are they?

Again...obviously none of us are Drs. here so these are just our own personal thoughts/suggestions....
Thanks for sharing more information....I'm certainly not saying you can't have pain...as I wrote, pain is very subjective and it's not always backed up by a MRI. Stenosis just means "narrowing". And as I wrote...along with the disc issues...this will happen naturally over time for people as well. It's really about the degree of narrowing and whether it affects the spinal cord.

So it's definitely good that you see a PM Dr. for your chronic pain. That is who you need to find when you go out to WY. In fact...you should get this all set up BEFORE moving...Talk with your PM now to make sure that his notes in your file will set you up with the same treatment.

I also see a PM that is an Anethesiologist. And FYI on medications...the Norco and Vidcodin are the exact same medication of Hydrocodone (the opiate) and Acetaminophen. It was probably because the dosage was higher in the Norco than the Vicodin.

The Percocet you are taking is Oxycodone and Acetaminophen and is the next in line so it seems your PM is tirating up in medications and dosage nice and slow which is good since you want to always be on the least amount of opiate as possible to keep tolerance at bay.

As mentioned...you really need a Board Certified Neurosurgeon or BC Ortho to go over the MRI results with you and see what they think.

A MRI is usually done in sections so this time around they did the cervical area. They would need to do a MRI of the lumbar region to see if anything is going on there.

It's likely if you have cervical spine issues that you may have some there as well but your symptoms don't sound like anything emergent.

There are a lot of non surgical ways to treat spine issues.

Daily exercise is actually quite important, as well as not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.

There is also injections of steroids or lidocaine (numbing agent). There is a TENS unit that helps nerve pain. Physical therapy, aqua therapy, traction, massage, ice, heat, and acupuncture.

This is why you need a Neuro or Ortho to go over everything with you and then work with a PM Dr. to get you on the best non surgical comprehensive program.

Once they let you know what is safe to do....then it's a matter of working through the pain and pain management. As in...even if walking hurts a bit....it's still important to do. (when advised by the DR.)..

And as I also mentioned...trying other medications...especially nerve pain meds because an opiate does not target that pain at all.

There are other muscle relaxers to try like Robaxin or Skelaxin that may not make you as tired and you can take prior to walking or PT and such.

The key is using every single modality to help lessen the pain and even do things that could help it go away. About 85% of those with spine issues have them resolve on their own or with non surgical treatment. When you come on these boards...you are going to read more about the other 15%..:)

So I'm not sure when you are moving...but getting your Drs. all set up out there will be important. And I certainly hope it goes well for you at the hearing...but I would be very surprised if they approve you without any Drs. backing you up as disabled right now:(





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