Sunday, December 28, 2008

Degenerative disk disease and Pre-exisiting condition news

When I got my MRI back my QME doctor wrote a diagnosis report sating I have underlying degenerative disc disease thrown into my bilateral-repetitive-strain-injuries mix.
My MRI of the cervical spine reveals disc bulges at:
Quote:
C4-5 (1-2mm no significant central spinal stenosis),
C5-6 (2-3mm left paracentral disk bulge & mild facet hypertrophy causing mild foraminal narrowing on the left, &
C6-7 (3-4mm right paracentral disk protrusion, which indented the thecal sac.)
There was mild uncovertebral & facet hypertrophy. Findings cause moderate lateral recess stenosis & narrowing bilaterally and a moderate to severe central spine stenosis.
Options for care- Cervical epidural steroid injections
Now I really have no idea what this means but I do know that my treating doc wants me to do traction instead of surgery and I know that the QME doctor says the disc problems are preexisting.

Questions I have to find answers to:
  1. Can disc degeneration be reversed or just slowed down?
  2. What does an cervical epidural steroid shot do?
  3. How much does that hurt???!
  4. Can an MRI definately prove that this was a pre-existing condition rather than a secondary injury of Thoracic Outlet?
  5. And for extra credit: What the heck does the above diagnosis say in layman's terms
I have to find out the answer to #4 particularly because it will effect my disability rating and in turn my WC payment.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can not really slow down the DDD process...you could try physical therapy, some gentle stretching exercises and heat (heat and the hottub help me alot!)
The epidural injections are to help alleviate swelling...they do not really hurt, although you could end up with a headache afterwards...however, they are worth a try! I, sorry, don't believe that your work is to blame for DDD.....but again, repetitive strain causes injuries, and, usually, they can be chronic in nature. I am kinda a toughy about DDD of the neck and back when it comes to blaming work...asking workers comp to take care of it... and TOS...another toughy to blame on work...unless you are in a physically demanding job causing undo stress to your joints, spine, etc.....hmmmm If your TT disability payments end because you either, return to work, or are declared permanent and stationary..you will then start received permanent disability benefits that will be a part of the settlement...and those PD payments are small!! much smaller than the Total Temp Disability payments...so be prepared for that.

Anonymous said...

C4-5 (1-2mm no significant central spinal stenosis),totally typical!
C5-6 (2-3mm left paracentral disk bulge & mild facet hypertrophy causing mild foraminal narrowing on the left,hmm, reason for TOS! &
C6-7 (3-4mm right paracentral disk protrusion, which indented the thecal sac.) not really a biggy
Means your neck is going to hurt you, you will need to learn to modify some things you do, for instance, anything that stresses you .. bet your neck hurts more! And likely, you may experience some tingling and or numbness into your arms and perhaps hands...and betcha this is contributing to your TOS!! basically..learn to try to live with your neck condition..and go ahead and see if you can get the epidural injections...and yep, an MRI can show DDD... now, for your original issues most likely related to work..the tendonitis...doubt that your neck issues are related to the tendonitis! and I truly believe that this is the only work related injury that should be compensated! Wow....whole year on work comp for tendonitis and then adding to it .. neck and TOS...sometimes, those of us with real work injuries...get disgusted by these things.... do the right thing, get your tendonitis to resolve...cortisone injections?? tried those, rest?

Arms Smith said...

Thank you x2 anonymous! Its nice to hear feedback :)

Anonymous said...

FIRST LET ME SAY YOUR STORY IS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO MINE. I AM A RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGIST SO LET ME SAY NO AN MRI CAN NOT DEFINITAVELY SAY YOUR DEGENERATION IS PRE-EXISTING. I DO KNOW THAT DDD WORSENS EVERY THING AS FAR AS PAIN AND MUSCLE PROBLEMS. YOU CAN NOT REVERSE BONE LOSS. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF MEDS THAT CAN SLOW DOWN THE DEGENERATION. HAVE YOU HEARD OF FOSAMAX OR BENIVA? CHECK WITH YOUR DOC ABOUT THAT. IT IS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS WICH IS THE NEXT ISSUE AFTER DDD. AS FAR AS THE TINLING AND NUMBNESS ASK ABOUT LYRICA. IT HELPS ME. FOR THE MUSCLE STIFFNESS INQUIRE ABOUT BOTOX INJECTIONS. THEY ARE WONDERRRRRFFFFUUULL!!!!!!!! THE RELIEF IS UNDESCRIBABLE. I HAVE HAD INJECTIONS, BLOCKS, PT, EVERYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF AND NOTHING COMPARES TO THE BOTOX INJECTIONS. DEPENDING ON HOW SEVERE YOUR CONDITION IS THEY LAST ANYWHERE FROM 3 TO SIX MOS.
WC IS A NIGHTMARE. THEY WANT YOU TO GIVE UP BUT DONT. GET A GOOD ATTORNEY. MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THAT WHATEVER MY DOCTOR ORDERS THEY OK. NO ? ASKED. ANYWAY, I AM RESPONDING BECAUSE I BELIEVE IF YOU TRY THE BOTOX YOU WILL BE AMAZED.