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The Impact of Permanent Restrictions following Spinal Fusion Surgery

Posted by James Aspell | Jan 04, 2023 | 0 Comments

You Have Permanent Lifting Restrictions After Spinal Fusion:  Now What?

Getting hurt on-the-job can turn a person's life upside down. This is especially true when your injury requires you to have a spinal fusion surgery.  These surgeries, while very effective in relieving pain and restoring function, often results in permanent work restrictions and lifetime medical bills for things such as pain management.. Many employees lose their jobs and must be retrained for a new career or apply for Social Security disability benefits. Some of the most difficult claims involve trauma to the lumbar or cervical spine. Here is some information that everyone should know about permanent restrictions after spinal fusion surgery.

Discs between individual vertebrae in the spine can be damaged from trauma. This is sometimes called a herniated disc, slipped disc, disc protrusion, or ruptured disk. These injuries often result in symptoms of pain, weakness, and numbness. Nerves can be irritated or pinched resulting in symptoms down a leg or arm. This is called radiculopathy. If conservative treatment like physical therapy or injections fail, a doctor  may ofetn  recommend surgery. Typical procedures include laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion. It is not uncommon to have permanent lifting restrictions after spinal fusion.

A spinal fusion is when two or more vertebrae are permanently connected. Metal plates, screws, and rods may be used to hold vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid unit. This often limits mobility and results in permanent work restrictions. It also places additional stress on the vertebrae below and above the spinal fusion speeding up the degenerative process. Lifetime medical treatment and monitoring is typically required.

A spinal fusion can be a life changing event that necessitates a change of job. The transition to sedentary or light work can be extremely difficult. However, most people are not disabled for life simply because they are given permanent work restrictions.

Connecticut Workers' comp is supposed to cover all medical bills without any co-payments or deductibles being owed. It also pays lost wages when an employee cannot perform his or her job. This is based upon average weekly wage. Differential is paid when a lower paying job is available. Workers Compensation will also compensate you for the value of the permanent injury to your back in accordance with specific statutory benefits set forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 31-308. Finally, permanently disabled Connecticut workers can also get vocational rehabilitation to help transition to a new career.

Many of our clients want to settle their workers' comp claims when they get permanent restrictions after spinal fusion. This allows them to trade workers' comp benefits for a lump sum cash payment. Money can be used for any purpose including additional medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, starting a business, paying off debt, or retirement. It can soften the blow when an individual must find a new job that pays less money over their lifetime. Oftentimes we can offer the client a structured settlement so that they may enjoy lifetime periodic payments when they close out their Ct work comp claim.

Insurance companies will always low-ball people who they believe are in financial distress. It is critical to understand legal rights and future medical needs before settlement negotiation begins. Watch out for insurance companies who refuse to pay even after they covered the initial spinal fusion surgery. An experienced Connecticut workers' comp lawyer can help get the most amount of money possible for permanent restrictions after spinal fusion.

I am happy to speak with you at any time regarding your rights and your options.

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


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