Ohio is home to a wide variety of risky jobs. Whether it is mining, construction or factory work, these workers are faced with high risks and dangers on a daily basis. Thus, when a worker is harmed, he or she likely takes the steps to remedy the injury, seeking to fully recover. However, when a worker is seriously injured, this could present some issues, especially when they are not able to obtain the best treatment possible for their injury.
Take for example a back injury. In the state of Ohio, workers suffering from a work-related back injury most likely have to try remedies such as physical therapy, chiropractic care and rest before turning toward remedies like spinal fusion surgery and prescription painkillers. Because of new guidelines that were designed to reduce the overprescribing of opioids, this is not sitting well with everyone.
This surgery in question is a procedure that fuses portions of the patient’s spine permanently in order to address conditions like degenerative disc disease and severe chronic lower back pain. In the state of Ohio, this surgery occurs roughly 600 times a year. However, based on the new rule for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, an injured worker with a back injury must first undergo at least 60 days of alternative care that avoids opioid use, if possible, before resorting to spinal cord fusion surgery. However, there are exceptions for the extremely severe back injuries.
This new rule not only addresses the abuse of opioids but also highlights the fact that lumbar fusion does not work well for all back injuries. Some treatment plan can work more effectively, making it imperative that injured workers consider all treatment options.
Workers suffering from a work injury should always be aware of their rights and options. This could mean filing for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits could help address losses and damages, such as medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.
Source: Journalgazette.net, “Ohio strict on work injury,” Julie Carr Smyth, Jan. 11, 2018