Aug 19th, 2020
Do you have a rotator cuff tear, a torn meniscus, a herniated disk? The answer is we have no idea without an MRI. The first doctor you see may send you for x-rays. Guess what? X-rays are cheap. They supply some sense of assurance when the doctor says, “Your x-ray was normal.” Often workers accept this response. However, x-rays are helpful in diagnoses in some cases, but most of the time, and MRI is needed. But, MRI’s are expensive. If you’ve been reading these blogs, you know that the insurance company doesn’t like to spend money.
I have clients treating with a occupational doctor, not a specialist, for months without receiving an MRI. People will go to the doctor week after week, and go through painful physical therapy without even knowing exactly what they have injured. Let me tell you something, this does not happen if you hurt your shoulder at home. Your primary care doctor will try to treat it first, then if you are not better, you will be sent to an orthopedic specialist. That specialist may try a cortisone injection or some treatment, but almost immediately, he or she will send you for an MRI.
It’s very simple, an injury can’t be treated without knowing exactly what the injury is to begin with. But in the world of workers’ compensation, they like band-aids, simple fixes, and cheap remedies.
When an injured worker comes to me in this situation, the first thing I do is demand that an orthopedic specialist see my client and I ask for an MRI immediately. I’m not a magician, so I don’t always get this right away, but the judges are generally on our side when we argue for diagnostic tests.
If you’re floundering in a treatment circle without diagnostic tests, it’s time to give us a call.
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