Your job was physically demanding. It required you to lift and carry heavy boxes and equipment in tight spaces and from awkward positions. Now if this was a requirement a handful of days per year, it likely would not have been a problem. But, 250 days a year? One day? Now, there’s a good possibility that something will go wrong—and it did.
Low back pain is a fairly common complaint among workers. In fact, 5% of adults have a developmental crack in their vertebrae (usually near the lower spine and tailbone). This condition is called “spondylolysis.” Many people can continue to work with this condition but over time heavy work and lifting can aggravate or accelerate this underlying condition and result in a much more severe medical condition.
Sometimes the symptoms take years to develop, and may include low back and buttocks pain, leg weakness, numbness, increased sway back, or a limp. In other words, a dramatic decrease in overall quality of life. After trying every non-surgical method available to deal with the intense pain—including physical therapy, injections, and strengthening exercises—your doctor recommends surgery to relieve the pinched nerve and a fusion surgery to prevent any further slippage of the cracked vertebrae.
The problem? Spinal fusion surgery is expensive. A ballpark estimate for the procedure is 100k. Because your job duties aggravated or accelerated your back condition, you’re entitled to medical benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.