Lumbar Fusion & SSDI

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rmh54
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/24/2011 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all let me start by wishing all a Happy Easter.

I am new to this board but would like to get other peoples experience with SSDI. I am a 54 yr. old male which use to be a construction superintendent for large commerical projects. After the death of my wifes dad we moved back to her hometown to take care of her mom. While here, I found employment with a large home improvement store chain. The area was not capable of employing me at my previous status. While at work, I had an accident that required me to have a lumbar fusion on L4/5 S1. The outcome has not been very successful as I have been in more pain after the fusion than before. My surgeon, before surgery was giving me percocet 10- 4xd. Now I am being perscribed Roxicodone 15mg.1-5xd (150 monthly). The surgery was in early Oct. and we are now almost in May. I have applied for SSDI. They have sent me a letter to have a psyc. evaluation because I listed on my meds, xanax. I have been taking the same dose (1-.5mg. 3xd) for 29 years. I am currently taking PT and have been told that my motion is very limited. They were doing an evaluation a couple of weeks back and during, they wanted me to stand on my rt. leg and step up with my left as I was going up a step. My rt. leg buckled from under me and I, as well as the therapist hit the floor. Can anyone tell me if this type of injury will meet the requirements for SSDI? I am currently receiving WC benefits, but as soon as the Dr. says he has done all he can do, they stop. From what I understand Alabama is not the most patient friendly for WC. They take care of the Employer more than the employee (from what I have heard). And yes, I do have a WC attorney but not one for SSDI. Any help or comment from anyone that has traveled this path would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks to all,
RMH54

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/24/2011 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Afternoon rmh54!

We want to welcome you to the Chronic Pain forum on this special Easter Sunday!


Well.... we share something in common, in that I also had my L4-L5, L5-S1 fused back in March of last year. It wasn't fun was it! shakehead

You and I also share the same age as well, and that can be a little rough on us older guys. I really do not know much on the SSDI experience you are speaking of, but many members here do.

The weekends can be a little slow here, and especially today with the Easter Holiday, so be patient and allow the members a little time to welcome you here. Monday they will come flocking back in, and I'm sure they will be happy to share their SSDI experience with you.

I'm not sure the injury itself, will keep you from getting SSDI, but I do think that there are many other things they consider when evaluating this sort of thing. Lets see what some of the other members have to say.

I think you will enjoy the members here, and we welcome you to make your home of support here with us.

Take care!

SE wink
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 4/24/2011 2:15:45 PM (GMT-6)


rmh54
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/24/2011 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the welcome and the quick response. And you are correct. There was no joy in having a surgery like this. I have discovered you don't bounce back quite as quick as you did in your 20/30's
RMH54

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/24/2011 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, some of our recovery time can be based on our age and unhealthy habits, such as my own vice (Smoking). Many of the members have shared that a fusion can take a good full year and up to 18mo's

It was a pretty difficult surgery for me, and I had never in all my life had pain like the pain I had after the surgery. WOW! It hurt!

I hope they have you walking quite a bit, as this is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Are you seeing a PM (Pain Management DR)? If not, and you are struggling with your pain, I would, along with many members here, suggest you visit one. It can help greatly!

We are support heavy here, and fully understand what Chronic Pain is, so please plan on spending some quality time with us.

One suggestion I might make, is to find the search button on the top righthand side of this page and do a search on this topic. Many a good topic have been written on this very subject, and I'm sure you will find some interesting reading there.

Enjoy!

SEwink
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 4/24/2011 2:13:21 PM (GMT-6)


rmh54
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/24/2011 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
If my surgeon is prescribing pain med should I still see a PM dr? I wouldn't want to be"double dipping" on meds and end up in some type of trouble or both drs. cutting me off leaving me with nothing with the amout of pain I am dealing with at the current time. The Rox. 15mg. just knocks pain down to a dull roar, but if I take 1-1/2 I am not able to stay awake. I don't know what to do. Sleep all the time or hurt all the time. I also assure you I am no sissy to pain. This is just pain like I have never experienced. This is like having 32 abcessed teeth at the same time while passing kidney stones as big as your fist.............

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/24/2011 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
...as long as your surgeon is treating you, I would advise you to stick with him. At some point though he will more than likely cut you off and send you back to your PCD. Then you can discuss with him what your options are at that time.

You are correct in that you do not want to get caught up in the double dipping. It will only cause you more problems down the road.

Did they go in the front or the back durning the surgery?



SE wink
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

rmh54
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/24/2011 9:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, didn't see your question. Ny surgery was from the back, Had 4 screws inserted into the spine. And I think 3 of the in a nerve going to my rt. leg. (JK) Just feels that way.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16284
   Posted 4/25/2011 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi RMH54 and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am glad that you found us but very sorry that you have to be here suffering like the rest of of us.

Many times people end up as you have suffering with chronic pain after a fusion. The surgery may have corrected the mechanical problem but it left you with this pain. From what you have said you are thinking you have nerve involvement and that will sure cause horrible pain.

Yes, it does happen that people have to file for SSD after having back surgery and they are left with disabling pain, very common. I am assuming your surgeon is aware that you have filed for SSD and it behind you in this decision, it is important that your dr supports you because of what he writes in your chart.

Some people will possibly dispute this next line or two I write, but I worked in the legal field over 20 yrs and we handled WC claims for people and some had to go on SSD. Since we already had all of their medical records thee attys handled their claim for SSD too. I did a lot of work on those cases so I have a little experience there, plus I am disabled and on SSD. They do look at your age and education. One of the things SSD people look at is, would this person qualify for retraining into a field that would fall within his/her physical limitations. If a dr is not writing much in a chart on a patient many times SSD will send the person for an exam with one of their drs to try and clarify the medical situation. For instance, you are on Xanax and being sent for a psych eval, I am betting they are looking for possible depression or something along those lines. Depression was listed on my application for SSD and I was also sent for a psych eval and if anything, I think that dr helped my case. I was awarded benefits without any problem. If you suffer with any type of depression, which is normal when someone has chronic pain, do not try to hide it, many men do not want to admit to this. One of our members here is retired military and also an RN and when he filed he was turned down because they thought he was capable of being retrained, they were looking at his education. He even went for a hearing and was still poured out by the judge. So, his atty said fine, we will file a second claim and he won his case on the second time around.

In the event you do receive a notice from SSD saying they have denied your claim, do not take it personal, just move forward to the next step and look for an atty to help you. It is typical SSD. When you look for an atty if one is needed, please find an atty local in your town that handles nothing but SSD claims. Do not waste your time on an atty that does a little of this and a little of that. That kind of an atty is not going to be up to speed on the ins & outs of anything. Stay away from the attys that advertise on tv, those guys are not worth shooting. They have a high volume client count but have no idea who their clients are because its is quantity they are interested in, not quality. For some attys it is a numbers game when it comes to clients. Be sure to always keep a copy of anything you give to SSD, you may have to look back at those papers again.

I would do as the other member suggested, stay with your surgeon for now since he is willing to rx your pain meds. I am sure at some point though, he is going to cut you off, they always do. When that happens, that would be the time to be asked to be referred to a pain mgt dr. You will need a referral to see a pain mgt dr. When under the care of a pain mgt dr. they usually require the patient to sign a Contract which states you will not obtain pain meds from another dr., use one pharmacy not several, and its all spelled out what you are required to do, random UA's to make sure you are not taking something you shouldn't and that sort of thing.

I think I have rambled on long enough, but I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard. Keep us posted on how you are coming along.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

rmh54
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/25/2011 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for your reply. I will do as you said regarding the attorney. I have never thought of that. I was going to use "Pitts & Sanaty" because of their commericals but it makes since what you are saying!!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16284
   Posted 4/26/2011 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
RMH54 it is your decision to hire whoever you wish, but my experience has been with these tv guide attys their ultimate goal is quantity and not quality, its all a numbers game. We cleaned up many messes made by that caliber of an atty and most of it was just sloppy work. It amazes the money they do spend on advertising and it is a bundle too. I live in a very city and we were just over run with this type of thing and many times a client would fire these guys and end up at our door. Files were lost, too many hands in the pie so to speak, but nothing actually getting done. But the worst of it was not knowing who their clients were. To me that is the ultimate smack in the face when your own lawyer has no clue who you are. You want someone with an open door policy, meaning you go into their office and see them, they don't come to your home unless something prevented you from going there like a physical condition. A lot of people think oh great, the atty will come to my home, nine times out ten he will not be the one coming to your home, their little green horn that just passed the bar does the grunt work, lol.

A local atty will know how the SSD judges runs his hearings and what is expected. Little things like this can make a difference. Did you keep a copy of all the paperwork from SSD to make your own file with, I hope. From this point on be sure to make a copy of everything and set up your own file at home. Take care and let us hear from you.
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