Back problems are one of the most frequent reasons that people seek to file a disability claim. Many factors, including degenerative disk disease, may cause back pain or discomfort. A simple claim of back pain alone is an insufficient basis to seek disability from an insurance company and you will need our skilled New York long term disability attorneys to help build a case for receiving long term disability benefits.
What is degenerative disc disease?
As we age, every person develops some degree of disk degeneration. Degenerative disk disease is a problem that generally develops over many years as the disks between vertebrae dehydrate and shrink. The disks serve as cushioning between the bony vertebrae that form your spine. Without adequate padding between the bones, you can develop pain as a result of osteoarthritis or other rubbing and chafing between the unprotected bones.
What testing will the insurance comapny want to see?
There may not be any outward symptoms of the disease until you start developing pain. At that point, the level of degeneration can be quite advanced. If you are having pain in your back, doctors can use x-rays, MRIs and CT scans to diagnose the degree of degeneration that you are suffering from. The degeneration of a disk is usually quite apparent because the disk's thickness will not match the thickness of other normally functioning disks in your spine. The doctor may perform other tests to determine whether or not you have associated problems such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
What treatment will the insurance company want to see?
The most common surgical treatment is spinal fusion. This procedure is usually performed on the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) portions of the spine. Surgeons will "fuse" together the vertebrae on either side of the degraded disk by placing small strips of live bone grafts onto the affected vertebrae. The bone then grows and forms a hardened surface between the vertebrae. In ideal circumstances, this will restore rigidity and stability to the spinal column. If the degeneration is more severe, the surgeon may fuse together more than two vertebrae.
The recovery process for spinal fusion surgery can be very arduous and the surgery is not always successful. You may be out of work for a very long time and if you have not already qualified for disability payments prior to surgery, you may experience substantial financial hardship.
Reach out to our Trusted New York Long Term Disability Attorneys
You need to protect your health and financial well being by hiring one of our New York long term disability attorneys who is experienced in developing disability cases based on back pain and damaged vertebral disks. Contact the Riemer & Associates for a consultation at (212) 297-0700.