- Anesthesiologist specializing in non-surgical spine care
Fellowship-trained in Interventional Spine
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, there were 225,980 work-related cases involving injuries to the back. This represents 19.1% of reported workplace injuries. Said another way, one in five on-the-job injuries relate to back or neck injury. Worse, 5% of the people with back pain related disability account for 75% of the costs associated with low-back pain. Health care expenditures for individuals with back pain have been estimated to be about 60% higher than those without back pain, meaning that back pain is an extremely expensive problem.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year. Further, one-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering from those with work-related back injury.
Sadly, back and neck pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, concludes a recent study
The Baptist Health Spine Center recognizes the complex requirements of managing on-the-job back or neck injury.
While all those with back or neck pain symptoms want to get back to activity, the issues become far more complex when a person has a work-related back or neck injury.
In addition to providing the best treatment, spine care needs to be accelerated when the person has an on-the-job injury. In a sense, treatment of occupational injury is similar to the concerns and requirements of an injured athlete. When a baseball shortstop has a shoulder injury, the team wants the player back on the field as fast as possible. The player has a valuable role on the team.
Similarly, when an employer loses a valued member of their team because of a back or neck injury, the employer also wants that person back in the workplace as fast as possible. But they also don’t want the person to come back so soon as they injure themselves again. Consequently, an employer has a vested interest in prevention of future back injuries in the workplace.
Secondly, if treatment and rehabilitation will take several months, the employer needs to know that quickly as well because they will need to fill the position temporarily so they don’t lose company productivity.
The other issues in play with workers compensation related back or neck injury, is that the employer and the employer’s insurance company have an economic responsibility that can be extremely expensive. The longer the patient is off the job, that affects the productivity of the company, and payments for disability can soar. Consequently, many employers and insurance companies make use of case manager RNs to help navigate the injured worker through the sea of doctors offices and therapy centers for a fast and appropriate spine care.
The Baptist Health Spine Center works closely with the injured worker, the employer, the insurance adjuster and the case manager to provide accurate diagnosis of the injury, the most likely cause of it, and the most appropriate treatment for the person. We try to provide information to the case manager about the Treatment Plan, and when return to work may be achieved.
We also are highly responsive to the injured worker who also has concerns about their ability to safely return to the job. Unlike other spine treatment providers that may bounce the injured worker among various locations for diagnostics, doctors offices, treatment locations and therapy, we are able to provide many of those services under one roof. We are also able to coordinate care more efficiently than other fragmented treatment models.
We have a vested interest in helping all those involved in a work-related injury to provide the most prudent approach to spine care. The Baptist Health Spine Center strives to take a conservative approach to back and neck problems to emphasize nonsurgical treatment options before exploring spine surgery. But the spine center also recognizes that the clock is ticking and every effort is made to determine the best and quickest route back to work and activity.