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    Post L5-S1 treatment
    59ih340 posted:
    In 1998 I had L5-S1 discectomy/laminectomy as a result of a work injury.I was 27 then,40 now.I have seen a few doctors over the years for pain. They prettty much have said it is what it is. try to manage the pain that's all you can do.I tried to continue with a close to normal life.I currently go to a pain management clinic and take 5 7.5/325 Vicodin a day for pain management.Recently I applied for SSDI and was told by the judge I was not disabled because he did not feel I had recieved enough continued treatment.Does anyone know what would constitute "continued treatment".I have already had part of my spine removed and 13 years later am on 5 Vicodin a day for pain management.Did I miss something or is anyone else in this boat
    bj1208 responded:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    I'm not sure what state you are in but there are certain ways to go thru this -

    when I first applied for disability I did this myself on-line and was denied - my letter gave me a certain amount of time to appeal it and so I decided to hire an attorney that dealt with disability cases only.

    I had my surgery and have been in worse pain than before - so I was going from one pain clinic to another (being referred each time) and seeing spine specialists for diagnoses. So what I did was emailed my attorney on a 2 week basis and gave updates - letting her know who I was seeing what meds I was on what treatments and what was not working - finally received notice that my file had been received by the hearing officer - so I continued emailing updates - HENCE: the hearing officer got so tired of getting these updates that he decided to pull my file and approve my disability WITHOUT seeing the judge!!

    Yes the more that you see the proper physicians go thru the treatments etc., the more likely your case will be approved.

    It depends on how long you saw the judge and if you may have to start over in your application, but please do get an attorney that handles only disability cases - they do not require a fee up front but will take a cut in what they get for you - but it's worth it as they will do all the headache work - you just supply all the facts/doctors/diagnoses etc., and they do everything else -

    BUT do send updates - the more you do the better your case will look -

    I hope this helps - let us know how things go - take care - Joy
    Rafael Levin, MD, MSc responded:
    Based on the information you provided, it is not clear to me what your symptoms are at this point. You also did not mention a diagnosis if you have one at this point. Simply having had a discectomy/laminectomy in the past is not a diagnosis nor an automatic justification to be granted SSDI, even if you still have signfiicant pain.

    Clearly, you have chronic back and possibly leg pain which appears to be currently somewhat controlled on narcotic pain medications. I can only assume that the judge may have concluded that you would benefit from an updated evaluation by a spine surgeon to establish whether you would be a potential candidate for curative rather than just palliative treatment. Granted, not all patients with "post laminectomy syndrome" are candidates for further treatment other than pain management. But those who have focal nerve compression or evidence of instability may benefit from focal treatment to address their spine pathology.

    My suggestion to you is to consult with a reputable spine surgeon in your area so that at the very least you will know if you have options for treatment other than just pain management. If the spine surgeon will find that you are not a candidate for surgical treatment, his opinion will probably help you in your application for SSDI although you may need the help of an attorney regardless.

    I wish you all the best.
    An_189675 responded:
    have been diagonosed with degenerative disk disease (L5-S1) in 2008 and since then the pain has increased so much it has affected my daily life and i cannot keep a 40 hr work week because of my condition. I feel your pain and i know what ur going through, i completely understand! I have applied for SSDI and im awaiting my descision. i would like to have surgery but my doc gives me a 50/50 chance that it will get better....tired of the pain and the pills -vicodin es 750mg. looking for some releif from the pain, what has worked?
    bj1208 replied to An_189675's response:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    first - surgery is no guarantee that it will fix anything - especially pain - it can correct disc problems but again no guarantee that it will fix that -

    I had back surgery 3 years ago - fusion L5-S1 - my surgeon discussed with me before surgery saying he can fix my disc problem but could not guarantee that it would help my pain and he was right - my pains are worse now than before my surgery -

    I would suggest that you get a couple more opinions - from Orthopedic Spine Specialist and Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist - take all your test results with you - once they examine you they can let you know what you options are -

    remember surgery should always be the last resort - and once you have it it cannot be reversed -

    please keep us posted - take care - Joy

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