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Posted By : Shannonlbc - 5/2/2017 5:08 PM
Hello there I am Shannon. I have been dealing with pain for almost 11 years July 4th 2006 is my date of injury for work comp I took a fun waitressing job to make money being a single mom. They made us use large trays instead of stacking plates on our arms. I told them several times the trays hurt me but I was even written up several times for not using it one day I had the tray on my shoulder using my neck to balance it and I felt a pop in my neck. My arm went numb and down the food went. They sent me home cuz I couldn't feel my arm or hand and my neck was killing me.

The next day the pain kicked in so bad I called them and they sent me to their work comp dr who splinted my hand. Once she did that, the other hand went numb too. I kept telling them it was my neck but it took a year for them to MRI my neck and found my disk had blown out they opted for a anterior fusion at c5-6. He told me that having the plate in there could "possibly " cause pressure on the other disks above and below, 5-10 years from surgery. They didn't offer me a disk replacement which my ex wife had and she never had another problem.

I started with Vicodin, then norco , then the fentanyl patches. I was up to 100 meg with 8 Norco a day and 6 months after surgery the numbness and pain came back. It was worse, I again told them it was my neck. But they opted for the simple dual carpal tunnel surgeries at the same time.

It took 2&1/2 years to get another MRI and neurosurgeon consult. By that time the disk below the fusion had dissolved or disappeared and the bones were fusing themselves together. The nerves and muscles were pinched between the bones so he did the more invasive carpal tunnel surgery one at a time.

He then went in through the back of my neck and did a (I'm gonna butcher this) lamenectomy and foramatomy where they burn and cut away the nerves and muscles. I had some relief by this time I stopped the patch and switched to 8-10 Percocet a day. Then the pain came back and I had to wait another year for an MRI.

Now the disk above the fusion is 90% out and my nerves and muscles are pinched again. They say here is no surgical options for me because I had the fusion work. Comp won't approve therapy, massage, acupuncture or injections. I'm on social security disability at 45. Medicare pays for my meds cuz work comp won't. They won't settle my lifetime medical but they won't treat me. So now I have 3 level fusion.

I can't drive too long or stand or sit. I spend most of my time in bed, depressed and the anxiety over the pain is awful. I am currently taking Opana 20mg ER in the morning and 30 mg ER at night and I can have 2 of the 10 mg regular acting ones 3 times a day. But it's still not working. People have mentioned the pump but idk ive only been on this regiment 3 months. And it isn't enough, still I searched opana and most people start at a dose of 40-80 mg. And he started me at 10 so I see him next week and am going to ask about a few options. I will keep a pain journal next month to see when it hits the worst. Does anyone know of someone having a pump after 3 level cervical fusion any advise. I'm so tired of pain and mess running my life and not living thanks for listening..... Shannon rolleyes

I have made paragraphs for you in your post to make it easier to read.

Post Edited By Moderator (straydog) : 5/5/2017 8:34:31 AM (GMT-6)

Posted By : Alcie - 5/5/2017 6:56 AM
Welcome, Shannon. Sorry you have to come here.

I don't have any medical advice and there are no doctors here.

Do you have an attorney? It sounds like you have been treated badly and need different treatment still. No attorneys here either unless they are patients.

Posted By : straydog - 5/5/2017 9:12 AM
Hi Shannon & welcome to Healing Well. Wow, what a long & horrible journey you have been on & you are still on it.

First let me comment on the dosage of Opana. The guidelines are the maximum of 90mg per day equivalent to morphine regardless of the drug being taken. This has been in effect for quite a while now. Medicare has it on their website too about this. No dr will write beyond that amount & Medicare will not pay for it either. We have guidelines that are very strict for treatment of chronic pain. You need to educate yourself on this & so you can stay informed.

Does Medicare pay for your medical treatment since WC will not? Nearly all states have the lifetime medical for injuries such as yours, however, its a joke because they deny the care.Lifetime medical depends on the rate of disability rating given as a result of the injury. In my state you have to have a 15% or more disability rating & the insurance company can dispute it & ask for an IME to try to get the rating lowered. Its a joke.

What type of surgeon have you been seeing? Did you have a neurosurgeon or ortho do your surgery?

In all honesty, as chronic in nature your pain is & the length of time you have had it, it is very doubtful that acupuncture or physical therapy will help you at this point. You need to get the pain level down.

Have you spoken to an atty about how your medical care has been denied for so long? If not, you may want to consult with an atty that handles nothing but WC claims only. The consult should be free. Don't waste your time talking to an atty that handles everything, he/she will not be up to speed on a claimants rights under worker's comp.

Is it your dr that has mentioned a pain pump? If so, yes, pain pumps are used for cervical pain too. You must have a psychological exam to insure that you have no problems with an implantable device & have reasonable expectation of pain relief a pump provides. Meaning even with a pump you will not be pain free but at a much more tolerable level & have better quality of life. They do a trial first to see if you are a candidate for a pump. The rule of thumb is if you get 50% reduction in your pain you are a good candidate.

My first pump was implanted June 2005 for lower back pain. I ran out of options on narcotics, there was nothing left for me to try. I had maxed out the dosages on all pain meds. I can tell you that the pump was a life saver for me. However, you need a dr that understands the purpose of the pump & knows how to properly dose the medications in the pumps. As young as you are you are very close to maxing out your daily dose of medication now. We build up tolerances in time to oral meds & then where will you be. With a pump the medication goes into the pain receptors in the spinal column & bypasses your liver, thats another plus. Go to & & read up on pain pumps. You may very well be a good candidate for a pump.

Depression & chronic pain go hand in hand. Does your dr have you on medication for the depression? If not, discuss this with your dr. Many times when we get our depression under the control, the pain tends to lessen a little. What is going on with you now is the same journey many of us here have already traveled. Please do yourself a favor & get some help. Getting help is not a sign of weakness by any means, it takes a very strong person to live this life. But, with the proper care you can have a life, it will be different but very much possible. You are far too young to be existing as you are.

Since you have the nerve issues going on, are you on any medication used to treat nerve pain. I am talking about Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Amitriptiline & Nortriptiline? What about a muscle relaxer & NSAID?

Sorry for so many questions just trying to get an idea of your situation. Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : pitmom - 5/5/2017 6:31 PM
Hi Shannon. I so relate to your struggle with Workers Comp and being on Medicare at a young age. I was found to be disabled from multiple work related injuries at the age of 46.

I went to the local mental health clinic and the psychiatrist put me on an anti depressant and ordered weekly sessions with a counselor. The combination really helped. My counselor had to 'change careers' due to chronic pain and totally understood my frustrations, fears and depression.

I was 'released from care' after about 18 months. My life is far from perfect, I'm still dealing with chronic pain and living on a puny fixed income, but "I'm" better. Welcome aboard. This site has become one of the tools I use to keep myself 'better'. There is a nice bunch of folks in the 'depression' forum here, too.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

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