In a Wisconsin herniated disc settlement in workers compensation cases, diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical exam. This is where its important for the injured worker to tell the doctor the symptoms and how they relate to an injury at work or job duties over time. The history must be consistent with each health care provider to be convincing.
Then the doctor examines you to determine which back movements cause pain or other symptoms. Your skin sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes are also tested.
X-rays are of minor help in diagnosing disc herniations. The discs don’t actually show up on X-rays. However, doctors can tell if the space between the vertebrae is smaller than normal. This can be an indication that wear and tear on one or more discs is causing problems from job duties over time.
Computed tomography or CT scan may be ordered. This is a detailed X-ray that lets doctors see slices of the body’s tissue. The image can show if a herniated disc is putting pressure on a spinal nerve.
Doctors may combine the CT scan with myelography. To do this, a special dye is injected into the space around the spinal canal, called the subarachnoid space. When the CT scan is performed, the dye highlights the spinal cord and nerves. The dye can improve the accuracy of a standard CT scan for diagnosing a herniated disc.
Finally, the doctor may order magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI machine uses magnetic waves rather than X-rays to show the soft tissues of the body. It gives a clear picture of the discs and whether a herniation is present. Like the CT scan, this machine creates pictures that look like slices of the area your doctor is interested in.
Doctors sometimes order a specialized X-ray test called discography. In this test, dye is injected into one or more discs. The dye is seen on X-ray and can give some information which disc is causing problems.
Doctors may also order electrical tests to locate more precisely which spinal nerve is being squeezed. Several tests are available to see how well the nerves are functioning, including the electromyography (EMG) test. This test measures how long it takes a muscle to work once a nerve signals it to move. The time it takes will be slower if a herniated disc has put pressure on a spinal nerve.
For the best workers comp attorney results, McCormick Law Office collects all diagnostic testing results to prove the work-related connection to the herniated disc settlement case. Again, it is very important that the patient’s history to the doctors and therapists note accurately the work accident and job duties.