I started having back pain in Nov 2011. Since that time I have been through chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, seen 3 orthopedic surgeons 2 neurosurgeons,a pain management doctor, had 4 X-rays, 2 MRIs, taken Ibuprofen, Voltaren, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Neurontin and Gabapentin and had two steroid shots. The first X-ray showed degenerative changes and a few bone spurs.
The first MRI showed degenerative disc loss at L4-L5 and L5-S1 The next two X-rays showed further degeneration but nothing alarming. The 2nd MRI showed the same as the first but with loss of signal height, both discs bulging with one distorting the L5 nerve root and the other has an annular fissure. At this point one of the orthopedic surgeons recommended surgery, my insurance denied it. The last X-ray showed further issues with my neck. Go figure.
Right now I am with yet another neurosurgeon who says I need surgery but wants me to get one more shot. I'm 46 years old using a walker because I can't walk unassisted. I can't stand for more than a couple of minutes and I can't sit for long. I've taken several breaks just typing this.
From what I've been told and by what I've read online there's not much more I can do myself. Am I wrong? Is there something I've missed?View Thread
I did call a few of the insurance companies listed with the marketplace. I was told I can only switch during their open enrollment; when mine runs out or if I have a life changing event (such as birth, death, ect.).
I live in Virginia. The link you sent would be an option if I lived closer. I haven't worked since February and I have no income right now. Financially there's no way I could afford the trip there and the medical bills.
Wow, I didn't know there was such a thing as an Insurance Commissioner. That's definitely something I can look into as long as I'm still within the time frame since my denial.
I also did some research pertaining to my insurance. It turns out they have only approved surgery for a lumbar fusion if your diagnosis includes instability. A lot of people seem to be in the same position I'm in with the same insurance I have.
I'll keep trying and post back when there's something new.
Thank you again for all your advice and suggestions!!View Thread
The orthopedic surgeon suggested a lumbar fusion. He had two peer-to-peer consults with my insurance company and it still got denied.
I did call and I was told it was denied be cause I don't have 1) injury do to an accident 2) severe stenosis or 3) I haven't lost my bowel or bladder function.
The neurosurgeon said he agreed with the ortho doc. I'm going Monday to have the third shot. On my file the neurosurgeon wrote that if this shot doesn't work he will send the documents to the insurance company for the surgery.
There's a slight problem with all this. Right now I'm on COBRA and it expires in January 2015. If I don't get something going before then I have to go through all this again!View Thread
I need some advice and I'm not sure where to go. I'll try to make this as short as possible.
Over the past few years I've been having problems with my lower back. Around January 2012 the pain was unbearable so I went to the doctor. They took x-rays and said I was fine, to take some Ibuprofen and put an ice pack on it. A week later I could barely move so, on a friends' recommendation, I went to a chiropractor. He sent me to an orthopedic surgeon, who again took x-rays. His comment was, "you have a very healthy spine for a woman your age". But he couldn't explain why I was having lower back pain. Several months passed when I told my chiropractor something else needed to be done since the pain was getting worse. He sent me to have an MRI done back in October. It showed I had one protruding disc, one bulging disc, stage 4 disc degeneration and osteoarthritis. But, he said, this still wouldn't explain the pain. So I kept doing my usual things every day until two weeks ago when I started getting pains radiating down my legs. I had another MRI done two weeks ago. This one shows two bulging discs (one is torn and the other is encroaching on the nerve), stage 4 disc degeneration and osteoarthritis. Yet, the chiropractor says this MRI shows improvement over the previous one. Huh????
This afternoon when I saw my chiropractor he said he wanted to send me to a pain management specialist. When I asked him why he gave me an odd look and said so they can manage my pain. I told him I don't want to cover up the symptoms, I want to get to the root of the problem and get it fixed. I told him, in my opinion, seeing a pain management doctor would be like taking aspirin to get rid of a headache from a brain tumor. He said, no, it's worse. It's like covering a smoke detector with a pillow when there's a fire. I have no idea what he meant by that comment.
I know I need to see another doctor. I have an appointment with my PCP on Feb 7. The orthopedic doctor I saw is part of the largest orthopedic practice where I live and it will be hard to find one that's not in that practice.