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Can you develop spinal myelopathy at work?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

If you work hard, you are probably familiar with back pain. Most work-related back pain comes from muscular fatigue, of course, which typically goes away after only a few days. Still, you can suffer a catastrophic and life-limiting back injury when you are performing your job duties.

There are many different back injuries you might sustain at work. One of the more serious ones is spinal myelopathy. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, spinal myelopathy is a spinal cord injury that happens when the spinal column compresses the spinal cord.

Spinal myelopathy may have more than one cause

Doctors often associate spinal myelopathy with individuals who are over the age of 50, as the injury can come from normal degeneration of the spinal column. Nevertheless, trauma is also a leading cause, especially in younger individuals. This means you can develop work-related spinal myelopathy over years or in a single accident.

Spinal myelopathy can require surgery

If you have minor spinal myelopathy, doctors might take a wait-and-see approach. This is particularly likely if you have few or no symptoms. If you have a serious case, though, your physician is likely to recommend immediate surgery to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord. After all, this pressure can cause long-term damage to your spinal cord, possibly resulting in paralysis.

Spinal myelopathy patients have a long recovery

If you have surgery to treat your spinal myelopathy, you should not expect to go back to work immediately. Those who undergo the procedure often have long recoveries that include physical and occupational rehabilitation.

Ultimately, while dealing with a spinal myelopathy diagnosis can be daunting, you might be eligible for considerable workers’ compensation benefits to help you better manage your injury and recovery.