Many workers in California suffer from chronic back pain regardless of the field they work in. Even office workers can develop back injuries from moving office equipment or sitting for long periods of time on poorly designed chairs. Still, workers who perform manual labor face a higher risk of developing back injuries, particularly if they do a lot of heavy lifting. Bad falls may also lead to back injuries, such as falling from a roof or down a long flight of stairs.
Sometimes back injuries are so bad that a worker must rely on workers’ compensation to cover expenses while they recover. If doctors do not expect a good or speedy recovery, then the worker may begin to consider the possibility of applying for Social Security benefits. Whether patients make a full recovery or not, they may suffer from chronic back pain for the rest of their lives.
According to Mayo Clinic, patients may consider spinal fusion to help resolve the issue rather than turn to opioids. Spinal fusion may treat spinal instability or weakness, deformities of the spine and a herniated disk. Note that there are some risks involved, so seek medical advice.
A study cited by MarketWatch estimates that sprains and strains accounted for 60% of spinal fusion workers’ comp claims. Most of the fusions took place within two years of the injury occurring and 20% involved a second surgery. Men overwhelmingly represented the workers making spinal fusion claims at 64% over a 15-year period.
Workers who find that they are eligible for workers’ compensation in California due to back injuries may want to consider discussing this option with their medical practitioner. Spinal fusions may not resolve all issues related to back injuries, but it may help to provide some relief.
This article provides information on spinal fusions in workers’ compensation claims. This should not be misconstrued as or used in place of legal or medical advice.