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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: Indiana

    Please let me start by saying, I tried browsing the forum, but I am still a bit confused on some of the abbreviated terms such as FCE, and a few others. I would like to apologize in advance for mistakes I may make in using the correct terms.


    My husband was hurt on 7/13/2017. He reported the incident right away, and was sent to his employer's doctor. The doctor examined him, and suspected a strained shoulder. After waiting on an approval an mri was scheduled. He got the mri back and it stated he had 4 - 6 tears(I apologize, but I do not have that paper in front of me, at the moment). He told my husband that he would refer him to an orthopedic surgeon. While waiting for the appointment, my husband was in an extreme amount of pain, and when he called the original doctor, he was told he was only able to take over the counter pain medications because he was still at work, and could not take a prescription while at work.

    My husband went to the orthopedic surgeon and told him his options, saying because of how bad/massive his tears were, the surgery may not work, and reverse shoulder surgery may need to be done. My husband was approved for surgery on his left shoulder (his dominant hand) , and received surgery on 8/25/17. He had 5 anchors put in, and his bicep was also repaired. He was also given pain medication, and within a week started physical therapy. (The paper I have in front of me states left shoulder supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendon tears.) His physical therapy basically consisted of him trying to strengthen his hand, by squeezing a little machine with his hand, and moving his arm back and forth. At the moment, no physical therapy really has been done to his shoulder.

    He went back to the doctor today, and the doctor has released him to light duty/desk work. He did not examine my husband whatsoever, nor did he look at his computer like he normally does. (He normally will look at the computer and go over things with us)

    The few questions I have are, one he isn't healed and they can send him back to work? He is still in a lot of pain, and the pain is supposed to get worse with the updated physical therapy that he will be going through. The second is, he was told by the original doctor prescription pain medication could not be given because he was at work, but now it's okay to take prescription pain medication while at work?

    I apologize for this being so long, I am just really confused by all of this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,051

    Default Re: Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    To be brief, your husband is being jacked around - he has a right to a second opinion and treatment from his own doctor.
    You'll need to consult and retain an attorney to enforce your rights at his point, these people obviously have no intention of operating in a fair way.

    Here's a good blog on this topic.

    Obtaining Medical Treatment After A Workplace Injury
    Are You Receiving the Treatment You Need?
    Can I See My Own Doctor?
    There are always options if you feel you are not getting the right treatment. If you have health insurance, you can use it to see your own doctor in addition to the company doctor. Never accept anyone's restriction against seeing another doctor.
    http://www.cutlerandsilverglade.com/...y-Doctor.shtml

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    Thank you so much for your help!! I thought it was really weird that his doctor released him, especially after our last office visit. At that visit, he told my husband it was going to be a long road ahead, and that his healing was as he put it, would be like watching grass grow. He also was a little upset that they had my husband at work up until the day of his surgery.

    Today, when my husband went to work, his supervisor told him, that the insurance company forced them to take him back. Although they somewhat have light duty, they don't have a desk job, which is the only thing my husband was released to do. He must stay seated and cannot use his left arm (dominant arm).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    This type of procedure has a lot of post-operative pain and a slow hard rehabilitation. With 5 anchors put in the physical therapy part is done to maintain hand, wrist and forearm range of motion. After a number of weeks the patient is released to start rehabilitation on the shoulder itself. As for light duty, as long as the environment is safe, as in an office setting, then yes with restrictions for the affected extremity this can happen. Appears that he is starting phase two of the rehabilitation, as for controlling the pain, opioids although once given at this phase of treatment are longer a standard of care. The shoulder is going to be very painful as he starts to get range of motion and strength in the shoulder. The provider will recommend frequent icing for the shoulder and sometimes a cortisone injection is helpful in relieving inflammation and pain. The provider will be able to give direction and the physical therapist should be well versed and provide a fountain of information regarding how painful this rehabilitation is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    Quote Quoting Wilcke View Post
    This type of procedure has a lot of post-operative pain and a slow hard rehabilitation. With 5 anchors put in the physical therapy part is done to maintain hand, wrist and forearm range of motion. After a number of weeks the patient is released to start rehabilitation on the shoulder itself. As for light duty, as long as the environment is safe, as in an office setting, then yes with restrictions for the affected extremity this can happen. Appears that he is starting phase two of the rehabilitation, as for controlling the pain, opioids although once given at this phase of treatment are longer a standard of care. The shoulder is going to be very painful as he starts to get range of motion and strength in the shoulder. The provider will recommend frequent icing for the shoulder and sometimes a cortisone injection is helpful in relieving inflammation and pain. The provider will be able to give direction and the physical therapist should be well versed and provide a fountain of information regarding how painful this rehabilitation is.
    I apologize for not replying sooner, but thank you so much for your reply.

    This whole ordeal, has been a horrible roller coaster ride.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    Please find counsel. If you would have had counsel, there is a chance they could have prevented the return. There are a lot of variables. However, the best part of having a good attorney is you do not have to worry about if you are doing the right thing. The attorney will explain or should explain. The law is different in every state. I wish you and your husband a full recovery. What the Employer was stating is the insurance company will often pressure the Employer to bring the injured worker back. The WC benefits come from the insurance company not the Employer. I hope that makes sense. Ty

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,756

    Default Re: Very Confused - Not Sure What to Do

    Yes, he needs a lawyer on board. He would have benefited from having one hired before the surgery. They are not going to treat him fairly unless he forces them to, and the only way for an injured worker, who has no knowledge of how to make the system work properly or to make them play fair, is to get a good lawyer.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

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