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pain coming back 6yrs after disc replacement
#1
Question 
Hello, I am a 27 yr old electrician from good ol Tennessee. I ruptured a disc in my back in 2004 pulling big feeder cables at work. Being young and very stupid , tried to tough it out for a few years taking pain killers and gettin epidural injections. Finally, in 2006 I could barely walk and my doctor ordered me to stop working until I had my surgery. Dr. Richard Pearce in Chattanooga, Tn talked to me about the options I had and mentioned that artificial disc replacement was the most long term fix that he could offer me. I elected to have the disc replacement surgery on my L5-S1 in 2006 and after I healed from surgery and returned to work 6 months later, I had minimal pain which I thought was leaps and bounds better than I had been before the surgery. In 2007 workers comp offered me a settlement of $42, 000 with lifetime medical which I accepted. In 2010 I started having chronic back pain at the bottom of my spine and hips so I started seeing a pain management specialist at siskin spine rehab. Dr.Smith prescribed me 10mg hydrocodone 3x daily and oxycontin 30 mg 2x daily. The medicine made the pain level manageable enough to do my day to day work and life. About a year ago my pain level elevated so much that some days, the medicine would not touch it, the pain I found last week is coming from my sacroiliac joint per an MRI that Dr Pearce ordered. He scheduled me for an injection to relieve pain which I go for next Friday. My question is , even though I settled with WC back in '07 could I get another settlement if my pain got so bad that I had to be out of work again. I know this injection is a temporary band aid for my pain and I fear that after it wears off, my back will be getting worse as time goes on. I remind you that I am only 27 yrs old with a baby on the way and a mortgage and numerous other bills that I work full time to pay. I'm so scared that I will be practically crippled before I am 40 yrs old and lose everything I have worked all my life to have. Please can anyone give me any advice or help with this issue! Thank you so much in advance
 
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#2
depends on how you settled.
if it was for all benefits for that injury, then no, you cannot reopen.
you need to look at the paperwork you signed.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#3
You said you settled with lifetime medical. Has that been paying for the treatments and meds you have been getting now? Is this a new injury? You need to look at what the rules are in your state to see what they say about this if you have aggravated your old injury or if this is a new one.
Now this part is just my opinion but if you are taking pain meds and you have no restrictions to me because of the pain meds you can be doing more then you should and causing you to do things your back should not be doing. Pain sucks but it is also the way your body tells you not to do something. I'm not saying you don't need the pain meds just saying you have to make sure they are not just helping you to injury yourself even more. Hope that helps. Please take care of your back because you are too young to have to go through life with back pain
 
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#4
I'll have to dig out my paperwork that I signed. This pain is coming from my sacroiliac joint which is a result of the artificial disc not being able to move like a real disc. So you could say it's a side effect of the artificial disc replacement. And I take the pain meds to make it from day to day life. If I don't take the pain meds , I can't hardly walk. I know this is not good for me but I don't know what to do. If I am out of work I lose everything . And I have my first child on the way. When my doctor ordered me to stop working back in 06, it was 6 months or longer before I received the first check. I can't afford to do that at this time. Thank y'all so much for your replies
 
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#5
Just a few questions, when you settled last time did you have a attorney..? You may have to file a new claim and I believe I'm correct if this new ordeal leaves you with a higher impairment then another settlement may happen..

If you didn't have a lawyer the last time you may want to consider one this time because last time you were able to go back to work.. This time you might not be so lucky...
 
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#6
I'm not saying not to take any pain meds I'm just trying to say be careful when you do. If you started having pain back on 2010 it might have been your body trying to tell you something. It sounded like you said you started to see a doctor and he ordered the meds. Did he look into what was causing the new pain? If he didn't then I'm thinking your body was trying to tell you something and just adding meds only helped with the symptoms and you might have been over doing it without knowing it. Please take care of your back because you don't want to be in permanent pain from it. Hope that makes since. This sounds like you could be looking at a new claim but only a doctor can tell you what is going on.
 
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#7
you might be having disc problems above or below the disc you had repaired, which very often happens because the increased pressure on those discs, if caused by that if you have lifetime medical award they should pay for the mri's and xrays to find the problem, did they pay you a lump sum or just guaranty of lifetime medical, did the forty some thousand include it
I was taken off work by their doctor and called my adjuster that day and started receiving my checks two weeks later,,,then every 14 days +- I get a check, usually 3 days after the 14 day cycle


(03-31-2013, 12:17 PM)RockyTopVFL Wrote: I'll have to dig out my paperwork that I signed. This pain is coming from my sacroiliac joint which is a result of the artificial disc not being able to move like a real disc. So you could say it's a side effect of the artificial disc replacement. And I take the pain meds to make it from day to day life. If I don't take the pain meds , I can't hardly walk. I know this is not good for me but I don't know what to do. If I am out of work I lose everything . And I have my first child on the way. When my doctor ordered me to stop working back in 06, it was 6 months or longer before I received the first check. I can't afford to do that at this time. Thank y'all so much for your replies

 
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