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Chronic Para-neural Pain and Dynamic Nerve Root Impingment
Worksafevictim posted:
Hi, I really hope someone can help me.

I had a work related accident in January of 2008, and ended up with a large herniation that was compressing my nerve roots and spinal chord. Worksafe denied my claim and I had to fight them. I won, however because of the delay I didn't get the surgery for over a year after the incident. The pain subsided but never fully went away.

Worksafe then sent me back to my construction job, in which I had to do a lot of heavy lifting. About six months later the pain came back to the point that I am sometimes immobilized, and can now only handle a certain amount of activity per day. I live with a lot of pain.

I had a CT scan in 2010 that showed disc space changes and mild diffuse disc bulging (L4-5) with a subtle focal disc protrusion and evidence of scarring. I then had a CT scan in 2011 that showed moderate disc bulging (at same) with anterior CSF effacement and slight pressure on the thecal sac. I can not have a MRI as I have metal in my eye from work. I saw a specialist and he said my problem is an expectable complication. Worksafe is citing the 2010 CT scan and ignoring the 2011 one, and claiming it is a difference of medical opinion. They're saying that some of the doctors I saw previous to the 2011 CT scan were of the opinion that I was only left with some mild disc deformity.

Is this opinion, or is it a statement of fact?
Is what they're doing the same as claiming that someone doesn't have a broken arm - because an x-ray they had a year before they broke their arm showed no break?

I had 3 steroid injections into my spine but they were of no effect.
I've tried nerve specific drugs and either they are ineffectual or I have reactions. Is there anything else that can be done to make this better?
davedsel responded:
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry you are going through all this. My wife had a back injury at work in 2011 and her doctor has documented that she is 100% disabled. The company's workmans compensation insurance carrier claims she is no more than 50%. She has contracted a workmans compensation attorney and he has succeeded in getting the insurance carrier to stipulate to 75%. Further hearings are coming which we are not looking forward to.

I am presuming that "Worksafe" is your company's workmans compensation insurance carrier. If not, please explain. Insurance companies try to make their payouts and liability as minimal as possible.

Do you have a workmans compensation attorney representing you? That is really essential giving the complex nature of this system.

You have the right to receive copies of all you medical reports and exactly what each doctor has documented. You will probably have to contact each doctor's office and get those copies. That will show you if it is opinion or medical fact. Even if it is a medical fact, the insurance company will make every effort to dispute your doctor's findings.

My wife has had steroid injections, injections using just a pain relieving medication, and procedures call rhizotomies where they burned the facet nerves in her spine at the injured area.
She is seeing a very good pain management specialist who is a physiatrist. Are you seeing this type of specialist? They offer a wide variety of pain management treatments.

I pray you can get resolution and relief soon.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


aprilrose9 responded:
Dear worksafevictim,
I had a serious work related injury almost 25 years go, so I can very much feel for you and what you are going through with this legal fight.

Dave has, as always, provided some good insight. I too, am curious about who "worksafe" is and how they relate to your claim. Whether the company is the insurance adjuster/3rd party payer or an "expert independant opinion" hired by your former employer, the result will be the same. They know who butters their bread and there will be very few of them who will say anything to help your side of the fight. They make a nice fee for providing their opinion. The busy medical practices do not need to supplement their income doing these read into this what you will.

I am very sorry this has happened to you and wish I could be of some help. The only thing I would like to caution you about, is this is a time where you are fighting for yourself medically and legally. It is such a confusing time, you can be rushed into medical choices which come with big promises. Make sure you get second opinions and choose your physician wisely.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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