Spine Surgery Outcomes in Workers’ Compensation Patients

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Occupational spine injuries place a substantial burden on employees, employers, and the workers’ compensation system. Both temporary and permanent spinal conditions contribute substantially to disability and lost wages. Numerous investigations have revealed that workers’ compensation status is a negative risk factor for outcomes after spine injuries and spine surgery. However, positive patient outcomes and return to work are possible in spine-related workers’ compensation cases with proper patient selection, appropriate surgical indications, and realistic postoperative expectations. Quality improvement measures aimed at optimizing outcomes and minimizing permanent disability are crucial to mitigating the burden of disability claims.

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