Back Injury Prevention A Miner's Story
Back Injury History • This miner was injured approximately in 1991 • Easter Day 1998 his right leg went numb at the two small toes initially • If the sensation was not numb it was absolute fire • The numbness spread up his leg and by Thursday that week was above his waist line
The Dr. did an MRI on Wednesday and sent this miner to a Denver Orthopedic surgeon on Thursday of that week • Surgery was scheduled for the next day (Friday) • L5-S1 was the target and a herniated disc and associated jell from a disc was discovered calcified in the spinal canal mashing the root nerve and spinal cord to one side.
L4-L5 Disc was found to be in a degenerative state • The procedure relieved the pain and numbness radiating down this miner's leg but did little for the general lower back discomfort.
The Dr. explained that on average the patient would require another surgery most likely within 7 years due to scar tissue creating discomfort • Another surgery occurred in May 2004 • Same disc for sciatica (pain radiating down the leg) • The miner didn't make it 7 years
Currently this miner is experiencing moderate to severe pain every single day • Another visit to the surgeon required a procedure known as a disc-o-gram • This procedure is to define exactly where or which disc is causing the pain by inserting a needle into a disc then injecting dye under slight pressure. The pressure will induce pain if the disc is a problem • The following slides are x-rays of the diskogram
Conclusions • The discogram is not conclusive due to the amount of degeneration in this miner's back • Pain was intensified when all disc's were injected with the dye • Surgery options have not been clarified as of this time • This miner will deal with pain most likely for the remainder of his life • The surgeon's only recommendation was that if 2 or more discs create pain then no surgery is recommended
The Final Word! We have all been instructed on proper lifting techniques and back injury prevention. It's up to you - Pay attention and live these common sense rules You alone, will live with the consequences of the wrong choices resulting in pain and suffering for the rest of your life