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Lumbar Disc Replacement and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Lumbar disc replacement surgery is designed to replace the ruptured disc with an artificial one, thus eliminating the pain and allowing you to move freely again.

Lower back pain is a commonly reported injury related to the Missouri workplace. Lumbar disc replacement is a surgical method of relieving that pain and restoring mobility to the individual. A mechanical device replaces a worn or herniated disc, restoring motion to the spine. In most cases, the Missouri worker can return to their job with the same capabilities as before the injury.

Thousands of Missouri workers are affected by lower back injuries each year. Lumbar disc replacement is accepted as a viable option for treating that injury, yet not all workers are given the opportunity. If non-surgical methods of treating a herniated disc in the lower back have not worked for you and you are being denied additional treatments and surgery, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Our legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation they need.

What Causes Lower Back Pain and Herniated Discs

Your spinal vertebra contains discs between each bone for shock absorption and flexibility. These discs have a flexible outer ring encasing a soft, jelly-like core. When that core begins to push on the outer ring from overuse or a sudden injury, you will begin to feel chronic pain in your lower back.

Herniated discs, also called slipped or ruptured discs, occur most often in the lower quadrant of the spine. Not only can they cause debilitating pain in the back, but if located near the sciatica nerve, that pain could radiate down the leg. That condition will worsen if the disc ruptures, allowing the inner core to seep out.

These types of hernias are caused by excessive pressure on the area from any number of work-related activities, including:

  • sitting for long periods of time
  • pulling or lifting heavy objects
  • frequently bending and twisting the back
  • exposure to constant vibrations
  • other repetitive motions that affect the lower back

With the large number of work-related risk factors being known to cause a herniated disc in the lower back, almost any Missouri employee is susceptible to this type of injury. Lumbar disc replacement surgery is designed to replace the ruptured disc with an artificial one, thus eliminating the pain and allowing you to move freely again.

What is Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery?

Lower back pain patients not responding to non-surgical methods of repairing a herniated disc can find relief from a lumbar disc replacement. Unlike lumbar fusion, which uses bone grafting to connect the vertebrae and eliminate the need for a disc, replacement surgery will utilize a mechanical device to emulate the function of the disc. This method is preferred by patients as it allows them to remain fully flexible in the lower back. Also, since no bone healing is involved with the surgical procedure, you should be able to stand and walk the next day. Even with rehabilitation, however, the time to fully recover and return to normal work can range from weeks to months.

Lumbar Disc Replacement and Work Comp Benefits

The first hurdle with lumbar disc replacement and your employer’s work comp carrier may be convincing them that the injury is work-related. Because of the frequency of lower back pain and the many causes, an insurance company can insist that the condition is pre-existing and unrelated to your occupation. In this case, James M. Hoffmann can work with you to help present compelling evidence to prove your claim and allow you to receive your work comp benefits for treating a herniated disc.

If the surgery is being denied, you can request a second opinion and appeal your employer’s decision. This is a complicated process similar to a court case, necessitating the expertise of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to walk you through it. Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free and private consultation.

Work-Related Injuries