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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    Default L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: NY

    I have a diffuse broad based disk bulge at L5-S1 causing mild spinal canal narrowing and minimal encroachment on the neural foramina bilaterally. There is no significant effect on the thecal sac. This doesnt sound too bad. Is it bad or should I return to work.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    Calif
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    Default Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    No 'doctors' here that I know of.

    If your treating physican says you are released to return to work, it would be a good idea. The WC benefits don't contiue while you decide, it's a medical determination. By a doctor.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2009
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    3

    Default Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    I have not been released to work yet. I also had an MRI earlier last year and it showed the same thing. I have had intermittent back pain and leg numbness. I have also developed numbness and tingling in the groin area. Are these symptons all conected??? I have been out of work since Sept last year and dont know if I should attempt surgery. It sounds too risky to me. When at work I used to lift heavy product all day. Would I develope more symptons if I returned?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    [QUOTE=sullyss30;128577]I have also developed numbness and tingling in the groin area. QUOTE]

    That is a symptom of something that can be very serious, called cauda equina syndrom. If you have any bladder or bowel symptoms as mentioned below, I would discuss this with your doctor.

    "See your doctor ASAP if you have:

    •Bladder and/or bowel dysfunction, causing you to retain waste or be unable to hold it. In crease urination, and or retention, and or constipation.

    •Severe or progressive problems in the lower extremities, including loss of or altered sensation between the legs, over the buttocks, the inner thighs and back of the legs (saddle area), and feet/heels.

    •Pain, numbness, or weakness spreading to one or both legs that may cause you to stumble or have difficulty getting up from a chair."

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00362


    http://www.emedicinehealth.com/cauda...article_em.htm

    You cannot get a proper diagnosis from people on a message board. I would recommend that you consult with a neurosurgeon that specializes in the spine.

    [QUOTE=sullyss30;128566]My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: NY

    I have a diffuse broad based disk bulge at L5-S1 causing mild spinal canal narrowing and minimal encroachment on the neural foramina bilaterally. There is no significant effect on the thecal sac. . QUOTE]


    Is there any encroachment stated on the thecal sac?

    [QUOTE=sullyss30;128577] I have had intermittent back pain and leg numbness. I have also developed numbness and tingling in the groin area. Are these symptons all conected??? QUOTE]

    I believe they can be, but I am not a doctor. I would discuss this with your doctor, and hopfully your doctor is an ortho or neurosurgeon that specializes in the spine..

    Quote Quoting sullyss30 View Post
    I have been out of work since Sept last year and dont know if I should attempt surgery.

    Has your doctor recommended surgery?

    It sounds too risky to me. When at work I used to lift heavy product all day. Would I develope more symptons if I returned?
    This is unknown, hopefully your doctor will give you lifting restrictions, if he does return you to work. Has he talked to you about returning to work? Some of your symptoms that you posted...are not something I would risk messing around with, example leg numbness and tingleing in the groin area. Look out for your health first over anything else.
    Last edited by kelly38; 10-26-2009 at 12:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western New York State
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    1,340

    Exclamation Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    You said you had a MRI last year was that a result of this or a prior injury? The reason I ask is that it isn't then the IC may attempt to say it isn't work related and attempt to deny WC benefits. If your doctor cannot answer your questions seek a second opinion. Has a surgeon recommended surgery? The best surgeons will always want you to go with a period of conservative (PT) treatments before discussing surgery. I'm not a Dr., but an injured worker like you who ended up with a level four lumbar fusion surgery and reading your MRI ("I have a diffuse broad based disk bulge at L5-S1 causing mild spinal canal narrowing and minimal encroachment on the neural foramina bilaterally. There is no significant effect on the thecal sac. This doesnt sound too bad. Is it bad or should I return to work.") it appears that everything is "mild" at this time but happening on both sides of the spine (bilaterally) and may be pressing on a nerve hence the tingeing, numbness , etc. But as Kelly38 stated, there is a serious condition called (caudal equine syndrome) that should be ruled out by your doctor. After surgery there is still some of the symptoms but not as great. Also, physical therapy is supposed to increase your muscles so that they are able to move the areas affecting the spine in to proper formation to alleviate your symptoms. Again, I am no Doctor and would recommend you seek an experienced lumbar spinal neurosurgeons (because of the tingling and numbness you need a neurosurgeon as they are experienced in dealing with the spinal nerves) opinion. Good luck. Also, there is a forum from NYS on this board if you want to go there and see if anyone has information about doctors they have used.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    3

    Default Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    Thank you for all the information you have given. I will ask the doctor to rule out caudal equine syndrome, and go from there. Q-man, you asked '...was that a result of this or a prior injury?' This is all from a work related incident. I have had no back, muscle or groin issues before. Kelly38, I have had heavy loss of feeling in the saddle area, mostly when I sit. I have also experienced more frequent urination. I wont get to graffic. I have another meeting with the neurologist coming up next month and will discuss some of the things we have talked about. Thank you everyone...you have all been very helpful.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    There are several ways you can get cauda equina syndrome, one being a large herniation that sliped back, and was not captured on the MRI. I would definately discuss all of your symptoms with your neurosurgeon, and that you did not have these symptoms before, if that is the case. Cauda equina can come on suddenly, or over time.

    You may not have this condition, however you have many of the symptoms. From what I have read, if you are diagnosed with this the sooner you get surgery, the better chance you have for recovery. Nerve compression can also cause similar symptoms. A Neurosurgeon that specializes in the spine is the best doctor for this area.

    This condition is mis-diagnosed a lot.
    Last edited by kelly38; 10-26-2009 at 07:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Western New York State
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    Exclamation Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    As Kelly38 has stated it is better to be safe than sorry and if your condition has worsen quickly then you should have your appointment moved up to get in sooner, what is the worse the doctor can say or do besides, its your life!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    238

    Default Re: L5-S1 Disk Bulge

    If the IC has appointed you a neurosurgeon, consider yourself reasonably lucky. That's the only doc I'd allow to get near my spine for surgery.

    You may have to be pushy with the docs you're assigned to, because they will often attempt to say it's everything under the Sun EXCEPT your injuries causing you pain. "It's the weather, or it's degneration due to age" etc etc etc etc....

    Don't allow yourself to be dismissed and if you are being dismissed or blown off, tell your attorney right away.

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