Ankin Law attorney Josh Rudolfi represented a DCC Propane driver/serviceman who injured his back on the job. After numerous doctor appointments, physical therapy, tests, and medications, the serviceman has remained in an off-work status pending back surgery.

The arbitrator, in the decision, ordered DCC Propane to:

  1. Pay temporary total disability benefits of $586.67/week for 44 6/7 weeks
  2. Authorize and pay for a microdiscectomy, and all reasonable and necessary related post-operative care
  3. Pay all reasonable and necessary medical services

The serviceman, who has worked for DCC Propane for four years, was injured when he was lifting a propane cylinder weighing approximately 80 pounds to place it on a rack. With the heavy tank at about chin level, he felt a sharp pain in his lower back with radiation down his left leg. He reported the incident to the Regional Manager and completed his shift for the day.

The serviceman first sought medical care about 6 days later complaining of low back pain with numbness in his left thigh, starting the day of the injury at work. A CT scan performed at the emergency room revealed disc bulging from L1-S1 with central and foraminal stenosis. After the appointment, he was taken off work.

Below is an excerpt from the Arbitrator Decision referring to the surgery:

Regarding Issue (K), whether Petitioner is entitled to any prospective medical care, the Arbitrator finds as follows:

The Arbitrator awards the L4-L5 and L5-S1 discectomy surgery recommended by Dr. Me.. along with all reasonable and necessary post-operative care. Dr. Me… believes that Petitioner has failed conservative care. He further opines that because of Petitioner’s positive straight leg test, positive femoral stretch, and pain in the back of the thigh as well as the anteromedial leg, he is a candidate for a left L4-L5 foraminal discectomy and a left L5-S1 posterolateral microdiscectomy. Dr. W… opines that Petitioner’s L5 radiculitis has resolved but, as mentioned above, the record reflects otherwise. Petitioner’s consistent pain complaints are thoroughly noted in the medical records. Accordingly, the Arbitrator awards the L4-L5 and L5-S1 discectomy surgery recommended by Dr. Me… along with all reasonable and necessary post-operative care.

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