workmans comp news

- New Treatments -
Ruptured Disk: To Operate Or Not To Operate?

Are you feeling pressure to return to work because of the recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported by the New York Times? The one that suggests surgery might be no better a treatment than time, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs for individuals with sciatic pain resulting from a ruptured disk? Because neither waiting nor surgery is clearly a better option than the other according to the study, there has been some confusion about what somebody with a ruptured, or herniated, disk should do for treatment.

If you have lower back and leg pain as a result of a workplace injury and are unsure of what kind of treatment you need, keep the following in mind:

The results of the recent study apply only to individuals with a ruptured disk.
If you know that your lower back and leg pain is the result of a ruptured disk, then the results of the study apply to you. If, however, your pain is from another source, speak with your doctor about approved treatments for that specific injury.

Do not return to work until your body feels ready for it.
While waiting may be just as viable a cure as surgery, it is important that you tend to your body in a way that will help it mend itself before you return to work. Do not let your employer or doctor convince you that you are ready to work before you have had enough time, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs to heal. Likewise, do not let anybody persuade you to wait if you feel that surgery is a better option for you, as many people with herniated disks do.

You have the right to an independent medical evaluation.
It is hard for workers to trust doctors who get paid by their employer. Not all doctors will have carefully dissected the implications of this study. Injured workers can get a second opinion and do have the right to have an independent physician evaluate their injury. An experienced lawyer will be able to assist the injured worker in getting independent medical assessment.

Lawyers for Change.
If you have a spine or other serious injury workplace injury and need to speak with a qualified workplace attorney about what to do next, the Consumer Justice Group is here to help. Our network of lawyers can help you in your battle with insurance companies and with workers' compensation to get the money settlements you deserve to pay hospital bills and get your life back together. Contact us for a free case evaluation .


The Workers' Rights News is a service of the Consumer Justice Group.

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