I’m sorry. Some history would be helpful of course.
I am 46 year old female. I have never had a serious back injury. In 2009 I began having chronic lower back pain. Within six months I started having tingling, burning and sharp stapping pains in my right leg and foot. I saw two Doctors who diagnosed a pinched nerve. No physical exam or diagnostic tools were used. By Jan 2010 I had started losing control of my right leg, numbness and pain in back and foot had significantly increased.
June of 2010 I waited in ER for 22 hours. Pain was very bad. I had an MRI and everyone was really nice to me afterwards. L5 ruptured and L4-5 bulging. They set appt with nuerosurgeon for Oct, gave me a pain presription and I went home and back to work.
Met with nuerosurgeon in Oct he stated phys therapy no longer an option because I had waited too long. Scheduled disc repair for December. Had outpaitent surgery. Went home and back to work. Over the next 3 months I called his office several times to see if I could talk to him because I was still in alot of pain. The pain and symptoms never went away. I doubt this will make sense but the pain and symptoms just moved. Met with his PA twice, had 8 injections in spine for pain. They were not effective.
After the 3 months I was told that if I wanted to see the Doctor again I would have to start with another consult and pay additional fees because further treatment was no longer related to surgery. So I didn’t go back.
The pain and symptoms didn’t go away. Pain has steadily increased and I am now starting to lose control of functions that I would prefer not to. My Primary ordered an MRI and those were the findings related to just that disc. There are changes and degeneration from L2 down. No one has explained the terms to me…my primary doc is great I love him but he says he is not qualified to read the results and I respect that. My doctor sent results and referral back to original nuerosurgeon. The did not respond. I called to try to set up appt. First time I was put on hold for over 30 minutes and sent to VM. And second and third. Third time I left a msg asking how to go about getting the MRI (my doctor only had the findings not the actual). I was called back immediately and told to go to the center where I had MRI and could pick up CD which I did. The business office called and left message that no further appts would be made at center until my balance was paid in full. I work full time have pretty good insurance but with the surgery and all the injections there was thousand of dollars remaining.
I live in a mid-size town with two care networks. The only surgeons who perform back surgery in my insurance network are all located in the same center. My options are to pay off balance and see if I can get someone to explain the MRI and that will take about a year or go out of network cross my fingers and pay double.