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Herniated Discs - Thoracic

My husband was injured at work, dealing with state psychiatric patients.  Injured his lower back in one incident, then 4 months later injured thoracic area. Has burning and warm, numb tingling feet.  MRI shows T6-7 herniation, and T8-9 Herniation, unsure of exact wording, however pushed into spinal chord.  Neurosx now has told him he needs a better MRI, and his office is waiting 3 months to schedule it.  WHY?  I am not sure.  So at this point he will be seeing another doctor.  His L5-S1 he has been seeing chiropractor for as well as for thoracic area.  L5-S1 shows mild herniation,  severe stenosis. He takes Tizanadine and Toradol at night to help.  Comp doctor said he can do his job of dealing with corrections/psych patients.  LOL .    Does anyone have recommendations???



  • Does he have a worker’s comp. lawyer? That’s where I’d start.

  • Yes he does.  He has been sent to the IME doctor, 2 days after he had his MRI that showed more evidence of injury however he was already sent back by the IME doctor.  Because he works for the state they have to follow the IME doctor, even though 2 days later more evidence showed.  Its crazy.  

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,441
    edited 08/03/2018 - 9:42 PM

    In some states your lawyer can send you to an IME the lawyer chooses for a second opinion on what the impairment rating should be. You may want to ask about that.

    Also since his issue involves herniated discs any second opinion IME is best conducted by a neurologist or orthopedic doctor, if possible (not a general physician).

    Good luck. Please keep us posted.

  • I don't think in NY.  

  • Is his IME Doctor different than his comp doctor?

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  • Yes.  He was seeing a chiropractor, now is seeing a neurosx.  However the MRI that was schedule and done 2 days after his IME exam, showed 2 herniated thoracic disks.  Now the IME doctor cant amend it, even though HE KNEW it was being done 2 days after.  So the neurosx now looked at the MRI, said its not clear enough and ordered a new one, also schedulaed for a f/u appt and now the office never ordered the new MRI yet.  Just perfect!  

  • I’m sorry you’re going through this. Make sure to ask the attorney if the second MRI results can be added to the claim. Keep on it. Don’t be bashful about communicated all these issues to the attorney and ask how they can help. Eventually it will all work out. 

  • He is looking for a new attorney at the moment.  This one has handled other WC cases of his, but this one not so much.  Trying to find a good one will be difficult in our area,  

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,441
    edited 08/07/2018 - 4:49 AM

    In the state where I live if you receive an unfairly low impairment rating by an IME due to bias then your lawyer can send you to an IME of his/her choice. The second IME usually gives a much higher rating.

    Then when you go to the hearing the officer usually picks a number between the first IME and the second IME. The final number is generally closer to the opinion of the first IME, however.

    Hearing officers take the impairment ratings very seriously. Especially if the doctor that does the IME is not a previous generalist type doc, i.e., family physician, but rather someone whose expertise is more focused on back and neck abnormalities, such as an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist.

    Hopefully the new lawyer can investigate whether your husband can get a second opinion on his impairment rating, even in your state.

    I’m just a layperson but it seems more fair to me to have the ability to receive a second opinion on the impairment rating because the first IME is usually conducted by an insurance company doctor who tends to have an interest in keeping the impairment rating low so as to not bite the hand that feeds him, so to speak.

    Studies have shown that it’s good for an insurance company doctor to properly state the true extent of someone’s work injury every once in a while because that way no one lawyer or hearing officer can point the finger and claim “this doctor is always biased against injured workers 100% of the time.”

    In a perfect world you wouldn’t have to fight like mad to receive timely treatment for work injuries (including but not limited to imaging studies, injections, surgery, etc.) and also a corresponding impairment rating that accurately reflects the actual severity of the work injury.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

  • Thank you, it just kills me, this doctor KNEW that there was an MRI scheduled 2 days after the IME exam, but sent him back to work anyway, clearly knowing of the herniated disks and impairment, numb feet.  He deals with inmates for goodness sake, and 16 hour days.  He now has a new appt with a new doctor, (not a IME doctor) but a new set of eyes that wil look at the MRI and hopefully get him back out, and get this fixed.  This will set it back in motion for a new IME exam, by a new IME doctor.  

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