Why Are Neck Injuries So Prevalent Among Workers?The neck comprises many different structures. Vertebrae, muscles, nerves, and ligaments make up the neck, which supports the head and is capable of a wide range of motion. This flexibility and a lack of protecting structures can leave the neck more vulnerable to injury than the rest of the body. Additionally, the neck is the uppermost portion of the spine, and an injury to the neck can have significant effects on the rest of the spinal column. As a result, it is true both that it does not always take a great amount of force to create a serious neck injury, and also that high-energy situations (such as motor vehicle accidents) can cause significant damage. There are many work circumstances that can result in neck injuries, missed work time, and the need for medical care.
Common Neck Injuries for Iowa EmployeesNeck injuries can be caused by a great many factors. Repetitive motions, falls, object strikes, vehicle accidents, and even stress can contribute to neck damage. Some of the most common neck injuries include:
- Nerve compression
- Muscle strain
- Disk degeneration (spondylosis)
Surgery Is an Option for Significant Neck InjuriesIn some cases, surgery is necessary to effectively address a neck injury. The most common reasons for neck surgery are:
- To remove damages structures causing nerve irritation.
- To stabilize the neck vertebrae.
- To decompress the spinal cord.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a SurgeryThe Iowa workers’ compensation system can cover the costs associated with the treatment of an injury related to work. If an employee requires neck surgery to address such an injury, he may be eligible for benefits. These benefits would cover the cost of medical treatment, including medications, surgery, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and more. In addition, there are a number of wage replacement benefits that could be appropriate. These include:
- Temporary Total Disability
- Temporary Partial Disability
Healing PeriodIn some cases, a neck injury can result in permanent damage. Loss of use of limbs, limited movement, chronic pain, and more can all prevent an employee from ever returning to work in the same capacity as before the injury, if at all. In these cases, an employee may be eligible for:
- Permanent Partial Disability
- Permanent Total Disability