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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    160

    Default FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    Hey, i had some questions maybe you guys could help.

    I had a fusion done at L4/5 with 4 screws and 2 rods on 5-6-08, did months of PT and was sent to work hardening. about 1 month ago

    I struggled with the work hardening and the therapist stopped it and said I should see my surgeon. They were affraid it was going to make my back worse, after 2 weeks it was stopped

    My surgeon said I would have permanent restrictions and should find a new line of work. I am a Building engineer, and my work is Med./Heavy in terms of pyhsical abilty. and sent me for a FCE

    Well today I did the FCE and was in alot of pain lifting 50lbs. my heart rate was upto 151. but the therapist said I was at med. lifting abilty (50lbs. ocassionaly and 25lbs frequently)

    I found this hard to believe with the amount of pain I was in!

    Does the surgeon take this into consideration?, or is this my final restriction? I don't believe I can lift 50lbs. occasionaly at work, I had to lay down during the Fce because of the pain!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    pain is very subjective; the FCE results are as well but they are a basis to help negotiate the amount additional benefits. If you case is litigated your atty will bing up those issues.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    Thanks for your response, My question is will my restrictions be soley based on the FCE, or does my surgeon have a say so in it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    work restrictions are physican imposed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    Thanks for the quick response. So the physican only uses the FCE as a basis? What if he thinks my restrictions are greater the the FCE? I am wondering because I am still in alot of pain from the FCE on Tuesday after lifting 50lbs.

    I don't see my Dr. until 1-28-09, and that is when we are going over the FCE results. Should I bring my concerns up to him? Or is this normal to be in this much pain still?

    I really don't think I can lift 50lbs. occasionaly at work for the next 30 years!! Like the therapist from the FCE says I can!!
    Last edited by EMM; 01-22-2009 at 05:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    yes you should bring up your questions and concerns with your doctor.
    you may want to write them down so you don't forget to ask the important questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    The same thing happened to me. I had an anterior/posterior fusion from L4/S/1 on Nov 1, 2006 . After 7 months of PT my surgeon stopped the Pt because my pain was too great and it was causing me too much severe pain and burning. I never did the work hardening because the PT therapist didn't think I could do it. I finally took an FCE test and the woman I had kept insisting that I could lift 50 lbs. I told her I was in much pain 8-9 was my pain level and I documented the pain level every hour on a sheet and signed my name to it. I was able to lift the 50lb weight and carry it 5 feet or so but I had severe pain and I was afraid it was going to cause more back damage. She said your surgeon would not have sent your here if he thought you could damage your back. Anyway when my final report came back she said I could find work in the medium to heavy category lifting up to 50lbs . She also said that I could not sit, stand, crawl, kneel etc. for more than 20% of my work day. My job was a general manager of a company where I sat 95% of the day at the computer. The fce woman refused to give my attorney the pain level sheets that I signed every hour showing that my pain level was 8-9 and my heart rate was always extremely elevated. We even sent her a court order for the records and she did not appear in court. My surgeon gave me work restrictions of no sitting or standing more than 20% and also that I am in pain management for the rest of my life. You can't trust those people administering the FCE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    Thanks for the responses!

    I see my Dr. on wednesday, I am still in alot of pain and not sleeping well from this FCE done on 1-20-09.

    I hope my Dr. takes this into consideration when giving my restrictions. I really don't think I can lift 50lbs. at work everyday.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    Well my surgeon is going to give my permanent restrictions tomorrow and consider me at MMI. I won't be able to return to my trade as a building engineer.

    Does the IC have to honor my Doctors restrictions or do they sometimes send you you for an IME?

    I just want to be done with all of this and get on with my life!!

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: FCE After L4/5 Fusion

    any doctor can offer an opinion on restrictions. If there is a dispute between medical opinions you can take it to comp court for a decision or the parties can settle.

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