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I got injured in a softball tournament on Aug 11. Went to the chiropractor for 5 weeks, including physical therapy there for 3 of those 5 weeks, but that didn't help at all. Went to my family dr who first put me on anti-inflammatory steroids that didn't help, then sent me for x-rays and an mri. Found out I have a herniated disc in my lower lumbar and degenerative changes in my lower spine. My fam dr is sending me to a back specialist at OIO (orthopedic institute of Ohio) but it took me a month to get in. I go this Tuesday.
In the meantime I went back to a different chiropractor (because the first one I feel he did everything wrong but that's a long story) and I'm still going to her. I had a really bad day today with the pain and she told me if I don't get better soon then I'm going to have "inevitable consequences" in the end, meaning surgery.
Surgery is the LAST thing I want. I'm only 28 years old. Oh, and she also decided to tell me that the surgery for this is $50k. Idk how true that is...its not like she knows what kind of insurance I have...but still. Idk how much longer I can keep going to her. She's $29 a visit and I go 3x a week. That's $350 a month. That's more than I pay for my house :(
Not only that, but ALL of the financial responsibility for my family of 4 is on me right now because df got hurt at work in Sept of 2011 and had to have surgery that went terribly wrong. He's still off work and fighting with workmans comp to get paid so he has ZERO income.
Idk what to do. We're barely scraping by. At least all of his medical bills are covered by workmans comp, but mine aren't. And I have to pay the chiropractor every time I go. She won't bill people. And now Christmas is right around the corner and we have 2 kids.

I'm just beside myself with what to do on this. I feel like I'm going to have to be in this much pain forever because I can't afford to get fixed. What would you do?? :'(
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by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM
Replies (21-29):
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Oh, also, I forgot to mention--does your insurance policy have an out-of-pocket maximum for each year? With my insurance, they pay 90% after the deductible, but only up to $2,000 of out-of-pocket costs for the year. Once I've paid over $2,000 out of pocket, it's covered 100%. For the total of our family plan, the maximum is $4,000, meaning that we will never pay over $4,000 as a family in out-of-pocket costs. Check your policy to see if you have something like that.

In terms of where you can go, you can go to any doctor or hospital you want, as long as it's in your network. Before agreeing to ANY surgery, I would definitely get a second opinion from a different doctor in a different practice (not just a different doc in the same practice). Most doctors are very ethical, but some are not. Some will even make "arrangements" with chiropractors, etc. and get a kickback in exchange for sending their patients there. Never agree to surgery unless you really trust the doctor AND the hospital, and I would always get a second opinion for any kind of major surgery.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I don't want to sound alarmist, but I'm getting a lot of red flags from reading your post. The doctor who so quickly says he "can't do anything else" for you and sends you to a chiropractic institute, which then wants to rush you into surgery? I don't think three weeks is enough time to know whether physical therapy is working. And what's with the spinal decompression table that they think could help you, but it's broken and they can't seem to get ahold of the parts to fix it? Seems like most places would either fix the table or refer you to a place that DOES have the equipment you need. It sounds like they're bypassing a whole lot of other solutions and trying to pressure you into surgery, which may very well be unnecessary.

And especially the fact that you feel you're being pressured into a surgery you don't want and aren't convinced you need. This whole thing sounds very, very fishy to me. I would strongly urge you to go to a completely different physician and get a second opinion.

Good luck!!!

Quoting JustMe0326:

My fam dr gave me anti inflammatory steroids, they helped the first few days and then stopped working. I do the stretches 2x a day, morning and night. And I did do full physical therapy for 3 didn't help at all.
When you say that the same as spinal decompression?? My chiropractor has a spinal decompression table that we've talked about but its broke she said. They're supposed to be getting the piece to fix it "soon" but who knows. She said though that even when its fixed, its $50 a treatment and insurance won't cover it.
I'm not trying to argue with you, so I hope it doesn't sound that way. I'm just telling you what I've already been through and what I've been told. I HOPE insurance denies surgery and makes them do something else. I'm completely willing to do whatever! I just don't want surgery!!

Quoting lancet98:

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM
Go check out what Glutathione does in the body, then check out MaxGXL. Costs about $80/mth and works wonders for back injuries. If you have any problems feel free to inbox me and I can send you some links when I am not at work.
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by Silver Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Quoting JustMe0326:

Where are you from??

Quoting m0m23b0ys458:

DS goes to OIO for his Kyphosis.We go on the 26th to discuss surgery.I hope things get better for you.
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by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 7:18 PM
idk what to tell u. Dh had 2 back surgeries in a year when he was 28. First he blew a disk and had a half dollar size peice of cartlidge lodged in his syatic. 2nd he had a spinal fusion and found out he had broke a joint at the base of his spine in half. The 2nd surgery was 100k. He still has some issues. just realize that no matter what you probably wont be 100% (his neuro surgeon said this point blank before his 2nd surgery). Good luck! Back issues are the hardest to deal with.
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by Silver Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

I think that OIO does the outpatient surgeries there,but my son will likely be having spinal fusion.From what I have heard and read,Spinal Fusion is an 8 hour surgery,with a week to 10 day hospital stay.So,I think they would do that at a regular hospital,not the surgery center attached to OIO.I could be wrong though.

I know when DS had to have his MRI,etc. to get his diagnosis,we had those done at ST. Rita'sI personally won't go to Lima Memorial.It's silly,but if you've heard of Hardin Memorial,you'd understand!!lol.

Quoting JustMe0326:

Oh...hey, you MUST be right by me!

Lima Memorial scares me though. I REALLY don't like that place. And I know st ritas might be more expensive, but because they're a private hospital instead of state owned, they offer more financial assistance.

But, I figured if they want me to have the surgery that I wouldn't even go to a hospital. They would do it right there at OIO. Wouldn't they??

Quoting m0m23b0ys458:

Just an FYI,Lima Memorial is cheaper than St Rita's.Least that's what my insurance said.
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by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Yea that is what they did to her :( with WC too. I would truely save your money from the Chiro sometimes they can do more harm than good may help some but not getting rid of the root of your problem with your back. OH and btw I am in Celina, OH.  So sorry your going thru this such a spot to be in and sending good thoughts your way. Maybe you could ask the doctor for something at least for the pain they can do blocks and my mil just got a pain pump at least something till you can think about doing surgery and hubby gets back on his feet. 

Quoting JustMe0326:

Unfortunately I know all too well about workmans comp. His stuff has been going on for over a year now and he's still not getting paid. And he does have a lawyer. All it is is appeal after appeal after them making him be evaluated by 20 different doctors cause apparently they're not getting the answers they want. All the while its a month in-between him being able to do anything. Like, he'll have a hearing, then his previous employer will appeal it and send him to "this" dr to get another opinion. But that appointment is a month down the road. Then they'll have another hearing another month after that. It's awful. And WC says he's not allowed to earn any money from anywhere until they have a final decision. :(
Fmla is there for me to use which guarantees my job, but you don't get paid while you're on it. I haven't taken a single day off work because of my injury. I can't afford to.
And I'm not sure about Fmla for df..but they def already fired him. He doesn't have a job to go back to. I'm pretty sure that's another thing his lawyer is taking care of but there's so much going on with it that I have no clue. It's very confusing.

Quoting Rhonda142:

Don't expect Workmans comp to come thru for you anytime soon without a attorney they suck my mother in law fought with them for 10+ years they pretty much starve you out till you give up. And you can do the family medical leave act will work for you and it will make sure they cannot fire you and you can keep your benifits. And I agree with jhslove call hospitals and see who is cheaper for the surgery.  With the medical leave it will give you time to heal before you go back to work not sure of any compensation though. I would save my money with the chiropractor you could put that money back to cover your surgery espeacially if it isn't helping.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 9:54 PM

My sister is a nurse - she says NEVER let them operate on your feet or your back.  You will never be the same.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM
If I were you, I would be terrified of the future because, no, I could not afford $50k for a surgery.
Thank god I'm in Canada. This surgery would be free. I would just wait to get my call to go in. That's why you Americans really need to reconsider universal health care.

With that said, I truly wish you the best.
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