Work-related injuries to the neck and cervical spine can be caused by trauma to the cervical spine, such as overhead lifting, or a whiplash injury from a fall or car accident. Often, pain will run down the arms into the hands, and nerve pain, numbness or tingling, or electric-like shocks will occur in the hands and fingers because of a neck injury. This is called radiculopathy, and it can mean that you have a herniated intervertebral disc in your neck or cervical spine. A neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon can order an MRI or CT scan to find out if you have a herniated disc, and can perform a cervical discectomy, or cervical fusion surgery, to fix the herniated disc.
Sometimes a fall or an injury to the top of the head can cause a fracture of a vertebra in the neck. This is a very serious injury and can cause paralysis or paraplegia. This is because the spinal cord can be compressed, or squeezed, by a fracture of a spinal segment, and the signals that are sent from the brain through the spinal cord to the arms and legs are interrupted. If you have such an injury you may need a surgery such as a spinal decompression, laminectomy, or laminotomy to restore function and feeling caused by nerve compression.
Cervical disc injuries can cause long periods of time off from work. They can cause headaches, loss of function in the arms, and permanent impairment. If you have had a cervical injury, or a surgery of your cervical spine caused by an injury at work, you should call me to find out if there is compensation for this kind of injury. I have many years of experience in proving permanent impairment due to cervical injuries and have met with many of the doctors in Louisville and across Kentucky who perform these surgeries. If a surgery means that you have permanent restrictions, you may not be able to return to the type of work you were doing when you were injured, or you might not be able to return to work at all. You should find out what your options are by scheduling a consultation with me. I can advise you about returning to work with accommodations, or Social Security Disability, Kentucky Retirement Systems, Long-Term Disability, Unemployment Compensation, and how these all interact with a workers' compensation claim.