new diagnosis anterolisthesis - questions

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/19/2011 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
I have sero-negative arthritis (autoimmune condition).  about 6 years ago I hurt my tailbone and the pain was severe.  I had an x-ray and it showed arthritis at L5.  The pain lasted about 4-5 months and then I went back to normal.  3 years later the pain returned but not as bad and this x-ray showed nothing (no arthritis).
I was in an MVA accident in June of this year.  Immediately my back was very bad with pain going down my legs and weakness in my legs.  I was sent to physio for that and other issues (whiplash and sprained ankle).  I found the exercises they wanted me to do for my back hurt too much so I didn't do them and told them that.  I also told them I had pre-existing arthritis.  The physiotherapist said that they would bring me back to my pre-accident condition.  Prior to the accident I had some pain but not too bad.  I finished the course of physio and even though I said my back still hurt he told me I was healed from the accident injuries. 
The insurance made me an offer and it was ridiculously low considering the amount of pain I am in.  I went to my doctor and he had an x-ray taken.  It showed moderate degenerate disc disease with minor anterolisthesis at L4-5.
So I went from no arthritis on x-ray 3 years ago and moderate degenerate disc disease with minor anterolisthesis today.  I think that is very quick. 
My questions: 
1. How fast does a diagnosis such as mine show up normally?
2. I think the accident aggravated my minor arthritis and brought it to this serious state.  Has anyone else had this happen from a car accident?
3.  Has anyone used a lawyer to fight the insurance company?  Were you successful?
Thanks in advance for any advice or information you may give me?
Sorry for the length of this post.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/19/2011 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all I'm sorry you got hurt and hope you can get a low pain day soon...
Yes, get a lawyer involved...but the lawyer will probably get 1/3 of the settlement,
that's what my lawyer got...but you can call a lawyer and ask for a free consultation
and then talk this over and see if it would be worth it...sometimes its worth it sometimes
it's not, but you can also, negotiate with the insurance company (barter directly with them).
However, if they (insurance) sent you a check and you indorsed it then it's over period and
that means you accepted their settlement offer.
Things get complicated in a motor vehicle accident.
Also seek out help from a podiatrists (foot doctor), and maybe consult with
a neurologist about your back issues, look into getting mri's done and contrast mri's
of your spine...x-rays don't always pick up everything.
Are you on medicine for the rheumatoid arthritis?
and Yes of course the mva, agitated your existing arthritis issues and may have cause
more problems...
Many well wishes to you, you have a lot to consider...and my advise was if your not in a State with no fault,
Texas does not have no fault, no fault makes things even more complicated....
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 11/20/2011 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kari and welcome to Healing Wells chronic pain forum. I am glad that you found us but very sorry that you have to be here.

You know arthritis is something that happens as we age, I have no idea how old you are either. Also, if you have injured an area before many times arthritis will set in after the injury. The best way to find out some answers is to talk to your dr. I would ask my dr if there was any way possible if the accident caused this new condition, this something you really need to know. If he says yes, then he needs to put it in writing. What does he say you will need in way of future medical care, this is important.

Another factor insurance companies look at is the property damage. If it was a low impact accident with minimal property damage to the vehicles involved then their settlement offers are always low. Sad but true. Its sort of like if there is no blood & guts every where they think people do not get hurt. Also how much does your medical expenses total to? Did you lose time from work because of the accident, meaning did your dr take you off of work because of it? If you lost time from work your employer will have to document the days you lost, how much money you are paid an hour to know exactly how much you have in lost wages.

Yes, you can have an aggravation to a pre-existing condition. In some instances where there is a pre-existing condition the insurance company can request a copy of your medical records for the past x amount of years to see how much you were be treated by the dr for the prior condition. Sure, they love nothing better than to tell someone its all pre-existing but sometimes thats just not true.

June is not all that long ago either. Have you improved any at all since the accident? If you don't think you have improved I would ask my dr to refer me to a good certified neurosurgeon. He knows all about how the nerve paths travels in our bodies and would be very familiar with your condition. I know you said your condition is considered minor which is a grade 1 and it goes all the way to grade 4. I would check out all of options before settling the case for sure.

Please keep us posted on how you are coming along. Take care.

When I was able to work I was a paralegal for a law firm that handled personal injury claims. Keep in mind insurance companies always start out with low offers too. They are not going to put all of their money on the table at once.

Most states have different laws and statutes in place concerning personal injury cases. I suggest that you contact a personal injury attorney that is Board Certified in personal injury and go in for a free consultation. He/she will need to know what your medical expenses are to date and copies of any medical records that you have on hand. Be sure to discuss your prior medical condition with them too. They know how to handle that sort of thing but need to know about it. If you find an tty you like, only hire one that works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no money up front it comes out of any settlement you may get. I know one of the members quoted a fee on what attys charges but again, that varies from state to state because of different laws that are place in different states.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/20/2011 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to both of you for your replies.

I am in Alberta, Canada and the laws are not pleasant. We do have no-fault insurance but it doesn't help. We have a law about soft-tissue damage from an accident. The maximum settlement is 4550.00 and they offered me 3000.00. I'm not going after the money (although it would be nice) but I'm offended that that's what they consider to be a valid amount for the amount of pain I'm in. I was not even thinking lawyer until they offered that. I have trouble walking. My legs ache and are tired and weak. I have not improved since the accident. I've actually gotten worse. I'm a gardener (was?) and could hardly get out there this summer. 3000.00 for the loss of my physical ability??? No! I was turned into an old woman overnight. I am 55.

OK, I'm whining. Thanks again for your replies.
seronegative arthritis; degenerative disc disease; anterolisthesis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/20/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
With insurance unfortunately all they do think of is the money...Sorry they put
such a low amount on you...seems like no one really cares about the individual person anymore...
Sure hope your feeling better or getting a low pain day soon...Straydog/ Susie,
always says things so nicely kinda like what I wanted to do, she's great with advise....wish I could be of
more help, many well wishes to you... We do have some poster here from Canada, if they see your posts
then they might be better able to help you out...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 11/20/2011 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Kari they really do have everyone jumping thru their hoops it seems. I wonder how in the world they arrived at the figure they did for a soft tissue claim? Makes no sense does it. Sure there are fender benders all day long and everyone jumping out grabbing their necks.

I had a lot of adjusters tell me someone did not get injured because they did not go to ER. Some do not go because they have no insurance that will pay the medical bill or at the time your adrenolin is at an all time high and you don't feel pain. That is what happened to me. It was the next day I knew I had been broad sided, lol.

I do hope that you are able to get the help needed with this. Bottom line when there is an accident involved no on really wins. Please do keep us posted on how you are feeling. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 11/21/2011 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kari,

I just settled from a car accident this past May. In my state we have a 6 year statue of limitations and I was nearing that. My lawyer ended up having to file my case in superior court. The insurance company demanded a trial by jury. Of course it never made it into court before it settled with a judge mediation. I swear if I ever have another accident I will never say a word about being hurt its not worth the aggravation.

Its honestly not fair what insurance companies will offer. A slap in the face. And as I told them no amount of money would ever give me my life back or my children and husband what they had lost out on over 6 years.

I ended up with 2 sets of lawyers so they did end up charging me 40%. If they hadn't needed to file it would have been 33%. Plus my private insurance and car insurance needed to be paid back everything they paid. My lawyer was able to negotiate my $70,000 in medical down by 20%.

Before my accident the only issues I had were asthma and thats it.

After my accident I was diagnosed with herniated discs, DDD among a list of other issues.

As I was told you can have DDD and not have any signs or symptoms. Its a common part of aging. As far as herniated or bulging discs. Newborn babies are quite often born with them.

My car was totaled I was rearended at 50+ mph.

Insurance companies don't care. Their job is to pay the least amount possible. They will try to discredit you anyway they can. They can and will ask for all your past medical records. In my case I had a backache when I was pregnant so they tried using my back pain as pre existing.

All I can recommend is talk with a lawyer and then make your decision.
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