Claimant slipped and fell at work injuring her back and hip on November 26, 2011. Employer accepted the claim and paid indemnity benefits from May 15, 2013 through October 16, 2013. Claimant thereafter filed a Disputed Claim for Compensation seeking indemnity benefits, medical treatment, penalties, and attorney fees. At trial, it was found that Claimant’s initial physician found no basis to restrict her work activity. Further, Claimant testified that she was able to work for 18 months following the accident by using medication. It wasn’t until Claimant began seeing another physician that she was restricted from work. The worker’s compensation judge found that Claimant failed to present any evidence of a significant change in her circumstances from when she saw the first doctor until she was restricted from work. In regard to medical treatment, the Medical Director determined that lumbar epidural steroid injections (LESI) were not medically necessary. However, the judge found that the Medical Treatment Guidelines reflect that the injections proposed by Claimant’s second physician were accepted and well-established procedures for treating chronic pain disorders. The judge ruled that Claimant was entitled to LESI therapy, but was not entitled to indemnity benefits, penalties, or attorney fees. Both parties appealed.
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