I've heard that worker’s compensation patients are less likely to return to work after low back surgery. Is this true for neck surgery, too?
Removal of the disc and fusion of two or more bones in the neck is the treatment for some problems. This is especially true when the disc puts pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. This kind of operation has fairly good results. Various studies report a good to excellent outcome in more than half of all patients. When comparing a group of worker’s compensation (WC) patients to non-worker's compensation (non-WC), the results are no different. A group of doctors at St. Lukes' Medical Center in Chicago divided patients into two groups (WC and non-WC). Each patient had a similar neck problem and received the same treatment. Both groups returned to work at about the same time. The use of pain medications was no different between groups. Neck pain and discomfort reported were similar. This study supports the idea that work status doesn’t make a difference when having a neck fusion.