Legal Question in Workers Comp in Missouri

I was hurt at work October 2014 Diagnosed with a left shoulder injury and pronator syndrome in both arms. I have not worked since my injury and it took Work Comp until November 2016 to finally do surgery on my left shoulder. I had a rotator tear with 75% impingement along with scar tissue starting to form due to the length of time it took Work comp for get around to approving surgery. I am still waiting for treatment and surgery for the pronator syndrome. I have not received work comp weekly benefits nor have I been reimbursed for travel to and from appointments. 2 weeks after shoulder surgery I started Physical therapy however work comp only approved 4 visits. The Physical therapist request more visits however it took 6 weeks for approval. During this time my shoulder started to freeze. January 10th I finally started Physical therapy again and it has been a slow process. Treating my shoulder has increased the pain in my arms due to the pronator syndrome.

I have 2 different Drs 1 for lower arms in which she wanted treatment to be performed on my shoulder before she does surgery on my lower arms. It has been a year since I have seen her. I honestly don't think she thought it would take a year to proceed with treatment on my shoulder.. The shoulder Dr released me back to work light duty 4 weeks after surgery. After a 2 year wait for treatment and only shoulder surgery performed and still waiting on surgery on my arms I am unwilling to go back to work due to the pain in my hands and arms. My employer sent me a letter stating that they received a letter of release to work (shoulder). and that they could accommodate my restrictions due to shoulder surgery. However they failed to realize the pinched Median nerve in my elbows. and that the 2 year wait for treatment has only made the symptoms worse. I drop things, my arms and hands hurt and tingle, I have lost a lot of strength and starting to have muscle spams in my forearms. I cant speak to my own Dr because it is a work comp case. I am unable to be seen by anyone unless work comp first approves it. Instead I am being forced to go back to work without further treatment and risking further damage to the median nerve. Sure my employer can accommodate me with a job for my shoulder restrictions but how about the pinched nerves in my arms. I need to be seen by the Dr that diagnosed the pronator syndrome since the symptoms have worsened since I last saw her a year ago. Can I be forced to go back to work without all treatment being performed and work under their well work program for 75% of my wages. Risking further injury to the untreated pronator syndrome or working another year at 75% of my wages while I await an already ordered surgery to be performed. All injuries have been documented as work related. What rights do I have? I don't want to lose the use of my hands and the longer I wait for treatment this is a possibility. If I refuse to go back to work until all treatment is performed what could happen?

Asked on 2/02/17, 2:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

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Answered on 2/13/17, 7:09 pm

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