Back Injury

One of the most common workers related injuries

In workers compensation cases, back injury back very common. Most work injuries to the back occur in the low back (lumbar spine). This work injury is caused because many jobs require bending, stooping, an lifting. All these work activities cause stress to the low back and result in injury which is compensable under workers comp. You are eligible for workers compensation regardless of what type of back injury you have as long as your back injury is related to your work.

How much permanent impairment has been caused

In workers compensation, we use the DRE method to determine how much percentage of permanent impairment an injured worker has incurred. The DRE chart is as follows:

  1. DRE 1 (0% Disability) : No significant clinical findings. No observed muscle guarding or spasm.
  2. DRE 2 (5-8% Disability) : Clinical history and examination findings are compatible with a specific injury
  3. DRE 3 (10-13% Disability) : Significant signs of radiculopathy. Impairment may be verified by electrodiagnostic finds.
  4. DRE 4 (20-23% Disability) : Fractures: (1) greater than 50% compression of one vertebral body without residual neurologic compromise.
  5. DRE 5 (25-28% Disability) : Both radiculopathy and altered motion segment integrity are present.

Future Medical Care For Your Workers Compensation Injury

Work injuries to the back require different types of medical evaluations and treatment including physical therapy, medication, epidural injections, orthopedic evaluations, diagnostic testing, and surgery.

If you have a disc protrusion as a result of your workers compensation injury, the type of treatment you need depends on whether your disc protrusion is encroaching on an exiting nerve root of your spinal canal.

If the intervertebral disc is encroaching on the exiting nerve root of the spinal canal, then you may require a discectomy or fusion surgery to remove the disc from the exiting nerve roots.

Regardless of whether you are a DRE 1 or DRE 5, you need to consult with a workers compensation attorney to evaluate your diagnostic images (i.e. MRI) and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your work accident.