Study Examines Workers’ Comp Recipients & Back Surgery

According to a new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, patients receiving workers’ compensation who are treated for back pain related to a herniated disk experience better results with nonsurgical treatment. Depending on the individual case, nonsurgical treatment options can include pain-relieving drugs, home exercise, and/or physical therapy.

Overall, patients tend to experience better results from surgery up to two years after treatment, but those receiving workers’ compensation received “no added benefit” from surgery. Those patients who underwent surgery had pain and physical function that was similar to those who’d had nonsurgical treatments. The percentage of patients returning to work or placed on disability was similar across the board, regardless of surgery or nonsurgical treatment and regardless of workers’ compensation status.

Sciatica related to herniated disks is a common reason for workers’ comp claims and it can be disabling.

Source: Workers’ Compensation Patients Benefit Less from Back Surgery,, February 3, 2010
Contact our Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers if you have been injured on the job and are not receiving the workers’ comp to which you are entitled.

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