Microdiscectomy for my back

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by brother in brown, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. brother in brown

    brother in brown New Member

    -Thank You In Advance For Any Help-

    It's been awhile since I've been here, just an injured employee looking for some help/advice.

    I have found out I have some bulged/herniated/ruptured disks in my back.

    After a short yet long road of appointments, I have been rec for a microdiscectomy surgery for my back.

    Anyone have one of these? If so how were things when you were done.

    If you havent had to go down this road, it is HELL :whiteflag:
  2. helenofcalifornia

    helenofcalifornia Well-Known Member

    Microdisectomy of the back doesn't sound like any fun. I am sure hoping that you have got a second opinion of that surgical diagnosis before you go under the knife. Is it WC or disability? My doctor told me that with the work we do at UPS we probably all have bulging/herniated/ruptured disks in our backs to some degree. Some, like yours. obviously worse than others. What caused it and what are your physical symptoms? Are you able to still work? What does UPS say about it? Good luck.
  3. Nite_Owl

    Nite_Owl New Member

    Brother in Brown,

    So sorry you are having to go through this. The Microdiscectomy is the least invasive thing they can do for quick relief. It is not a miracle cure, but it sure helps, do your pt, and get in shape is the best advise I can give, so you have to take a pain pill to go take a walk... do it. A year after my surgery I had to get Radio frequency Ablation of the nerves at my L5 facet joint after the disc lost height, I was a new man after that.

    Suck up what you can to get through this quick, it can be career ending but work hard to keep that from happening.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  4. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    I haven't gotten to that stage of treatment, the extent of mine has been epidural injections (2) , physical therapy, and then Liberty Mutual pretty much has shut every other medical request down. The fight continues even though I have retired due to the problem. Please do keep us informed as to your progress.

    One of our mechanics here has the Microdiscetomy a few years ago and claims it was the difference as day and night for him. Good Luck to you.
  5. brother in brown

    brother in brown New Member

    Thanks for some feed back. Yeah :( did pt both weak methods and stong methods :( - did chiro with everything you could imagine, even put me on a table that straps you to one side and pulls you from the other - I call all methods up to now the different stages of hell :) everything just flares me up. So I was rec to see a back surgen and said I need to have this surgery. It has so far been accepted through work comp. Horrible back pain, that shoots from the back covering everything down to both feet of both legs. When I start to feel it, it makes me sick and a hand full of pill make me sick too, combine um both and your down on a couch for a couple hours at at time, then you gotta get up cause that starts to make you sick. Yeah, I worried like crazy that it could end my stay with UPS, but getting back to getting back is more important. Guess there is a 90/95 % success rate of this surgery, so maybe when some symtoms go it wont seem quit as bad and walking back into work will be seen again. Surgery hasnt been approved yet so im looking into another opinion while that gets approved. So someone involved is called liberty mutual? So far I have had to deal with this annoying lady that follows me to all my apts and gallager basset. They pulled me from work after the 30 day thing where all you do is push papers. Thanks again, will keep up to date
  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    while many people that dont have a clue use these interchangeably, they are not all the same.

    so which do you have, and how many of each, since you said you had more than one.

    the better you give specifics, the better the recommendation that can be made.

    now, as for liberty mutual, i dont have a lick of respect for them. they want you either back to work asap, or off the payroll asap. not much in between, and really dont care what you have to go through to get to the end stage. in other words, they dont care about your long term body repair. just short term.

    a good chiropractor can fix most herniated and bulging discs without invasive repair. he cant do a thing with rupture, but then the repair you suggested would not do much either. so it sounds like either herniated or bulging.

    you should have been offered the ability to see one, as a chiropractor has to be on the list of docs to go see for back injuries. if not, they are violating the law.

  7. Re-Raise

    Re-Raise Well-Known Member

    Had a microdiscectomy of the L5 disc in the fall of 96. Went back to work about 2 months later. I was 32 when I had the surgery and I am 45 now.

    I started at UPS when I was 20 and I think I did the damage to my back as an unloader in the mornings by hopping into the trailers with no stretching. Young strong and foolish.

    To answer your question the surgery is not bad. I have only a small scar and no pain. I weigh the same as I did when I started at UPS which helps. I know some who have had the same surgery but are carrying a lot of extra weight that haven't fared as well.

    One question I asked the first surgeon who was going to do the surgery was "How many of these do you do a year?" He answered about 5. I asked the same question of the next surgeon and he said about 7 a week. I went with the experience.
  8. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    How does someone gain experience in a field where the users prefer someone who already has experience?
  9. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    I can't speak for you, but I will not risk my ability to walk to help a surgeon gain experience.
  10. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I totally agree but don't you find it ironic that in a field where you need experience no one wants you to operate on them until you have experience? This is not like becoming a barber/hair stylist where if you mess up the hair simply grows back.
  11. Tired Driver

    Tired Driver Sisyphus had it easy.

    invest into an inversion table ( hang upside down ). Only way I am able to cope with my herniated disk ( L4-L5 ). Alway try to be in motion. When I stop , the pain returns. 10 more years to retirement.
  12. beatupbrown

    beatupbrown Member

    UPS/Liberty mutual do not have your best interest in mind .You need to understand you are getting half truths and lies from the liberty and UPS on what rights you have. You need to get a second opinion understand what you are going down could be the end of working days let alone working at UPS.There are legions of UPS employees who have gone down your path some make it back some don’t .The best advice can give is take you injury very serious don’t try to a macho man and keep working with pain. Call the work comp lawyer that the union uses and he can give you a list of patient friendly doctors for you condition. There is a huge thing the surgeon that UPS picks may do the cutting right but they may push you hard get back to work even if you are not ready no one is the same in healing so many factors why. Good luck and god be with you with your recovery.
  13. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    interesting conundrum.

    the thing is, some docs do a lot more, because that is what they specialize in, in other areas, there is not that much demand, so the doc has to broaden what he does and is very good at.

    take my hand, it is a good example.

    here it is, i am at a teaching hospital, where the best of the best get their training. there were at least 5 doc, whose specialty was limb and hand repairs. none of them were interested in trying to save the top of the hand. they said there was just too much damage, and they could not save the thumb without saving the rest of the hand. this is the cream of the crop, where people from thousands of miles come to see the best in their field.

    so as i was waiting to have the base of the hand removed, leaving me with only the ring and little finger, i waited and waited. finally i asked the gas doc what we were waiting on, as i had made peace with the loss, but it was hard just waiting. he informed me that there was one more doc that wanted to look at it, and he was still in a 7 hour surgery.

    when the doc was done, he came into the room, and asked if i smoked. after i told him no, he told me he would try to save what he could, but that he thought he could save it all. which after 8 more hours, he did.

    so what was the difference? why did he go way out of his way, after putting in a 12 hour day, opt to do something that the others would not even try?

    its called the ratio of success and failure. the other docs were too interested in protecting their fine stats of success, and not interested in how they could repair someones life. the doc that actually did the surgery could care less. he knew that unless he tried, i did not stand a chance, that he was it, if it was to be.

    so while some do a lot, other do fewer. but what you want to know is the success ratio. then weigh that against the fact that the guy doing 7 a week only takes the easy ones that maybe should not even have the surgery, and could have gotten relief with a chiropractor, where as the guy doing 5 a year takes the ones no body else wants to mess with, and at least tries to give them a life that is worth living.

    everything is not as cut and dry as you might think.

  14. The Milkman

    The Milkman Active Member

    I hurt my back and had the pt, epidurals,discogram etc.. But a co worker I worked with who has now after 5 yrs of bs from liberty and 2 surgeries and a stimulator put inside him wishes he never had the operation. He is 48 now and will be getting his disability pension although no medical because he is not retireing so to speak. Luckily for me I was 55 at the time and was able to say no after seeing what my co worker went through. Not working gave me options of resting whenever I needed to instead of constant standing at the customer counter. If you are in that much pain then I guess I also would try surgery but I retired and it has been 2 yrs already and with pain management I am doing ok, I also got Social Securiy disability as I was hurt on the Job as a little consolation so keep that in mind if you are near retirement age
  15. brother in brown

    brother in brown New Member

    Im a little medicated, let me rephrase that, im medicated right now, but want to Thank all giving a helping hand.

    Im only 27, so I dont believe retirement is in the near future. I know alot of people catch hell cause of work injurys, so I wasnt sure if posting was a good idea. What better place to gain knowledge than around those that do the same thing as I.

    To help with the specs I have the MRI infront of me, doctor language is not my language...

    L1-L2/3say normal for my age
    L3/4 annular tear and disk protrusion with canal stenosis ect.
    L4/5 annulat tear and disk protrusion with canl stenosis ect. mass effect on the L5roots in the lateral recesses ect.
    L5-S1 right paracentral disk protrusion and annular tear with mass effect ont the right S1 root in subarticular recess, narrowing of the thecal sac, abuts the left S1 root in subarticular recess

    being medicated its difficult to type up the whole thing but thats it in a nut shell. The only thing I remember the surgen saying was the last one or lowest one was the worst in that it's ruptured. All I know is since it all started, it's gotten worse and will not be surprised as when they go in it being worse than this MRI taken a couple months ago.

    I will try at this again later - but Thank You Again...
  16. Re-Raise

    Re-Raise Well-Known Member

    The doctor I went with specialized in this type of surgery, which was the reason for my choice. Liberty Mutual and UPS treated me fine throughout the whole process.

    If the MRI is clear cut it doesn't matter how many doctors look at it.
  17. I had a microdiscectomy (L5,S1) in March '04, went back to work in Sept '04. The operation was successful, however herniated the L4 two years later. Declined the buyout from Liberty Mutual, and still working.
  18. beatupbrown

    beatupbrown Member

    Some people you have herniated/bulging disc and do not even know it tell a MRI.I went to a specialist that UPS sent me too .Looking at the MRI he said I don’t see anything wrong with your back. When I pointed out the black disc that was bulging out and said every time I pick up a package I have intense pain .He ignored that statement and wrote down a pro company statement and I kept working with pain and permently damaged my nerve .If you are working with pain your body is talking to you unfortunately people are afraid of having to leave UPS and do a non manual labor job. Backs with serious problems do not get better with time I hope to god you can find a path to a healthy future.
  19. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    ...or maybe you could have simply gone to a non UPS doctor for a 2nd opinion rather than accept his diagnosis as gospel and continue to work and live with pain.
  20. brother in brown

    brother in brown New Member

    Pointless doc apt. The annoying lady that follows me around came in at the end and said my surgery has not been approved yet... Doc says everytime I come back im just getting worse, said everytime I come back we will just have to keep going higher with doses until surgery gets approved. The lady also said the doctor had to re word some things, I dont understand how you can re word either this guys needs surgery and I can help - or this guy does not need surgery and I can not help. The adjuster later said after the surgen does something, (dont remember what) it has to go before some board or something for the decision? Funny because all these people act like some of us should know how these processes go, sorry but I dont make it a point to make work comp something of a normal interest in my life. Anyway-shall see how it goes