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Orthopedic injury rehab and the return to work

A machine failure, a slight lapse in concentration or a small mistake can lead to a serious injury. Factories, warehouses, and other industrial settings are centers of constant activity. In the blink of an eye, a worker can sustain a life-altering injury.

Following a rehab program

If you’re out of work and on worker’s compensation, it’s important for an injured worker to follow the correct process to protect his or her livelihood and career. By diligently following a physician supervised rehab program, you should recuperate and rehabilitate. Once you do, you should to return to health and perform your duties at a high level.

As an injured worker on temporary disability, the insurance company assigns a physician to manage your physical rehabilitation. In most cases, the physician typically assigns a physical therapist to the injured worker. You will work with the physical therapist to complete the prescribed program, and your progress will be closely monitored and charted.

It’s vitally important to follow the rehab program. You should make all appointments, perform at-home exercises and pay close attention to your diet and sleep. By taking these steps, you should realize the benefits of the program and return to health and physical well-being.

After sustaining an injury, a professional athlete knows that his or her career is at stake, and in nearly all cases, maximum effort is put forth to return to the highest level of performance through a rehab program. By demonstrating similar dedication to your rehab program, you should return to a high level of performance in your trade. In the final analysis, your performance, quality of work and quality of life depend on it.

Doctor and patient communication

You need clear, explanatory communication with your doctor, so he or she has a comprehensive understanding of your physical status. A doctor’s assessment comes from exams, reports, and available tools, but he or she doesn’t know how you feel.

Sometimes the rehab program has not produced the intended results and your recovery isn’t coming along as quickly as originally planned. According to your recovery status, the doctor will document and determine the next steps. He or she will figure out whether you should be in full-time recovery, work with some restrictions or work in the same capacity as before the injury. Other options include working light duty or in a seated capacity only.

In some cases, workers do not return to work until they’ve reached the maximum medical improvement. Your managing physician provides an evaluation for the workers’ comp disability rating that will determine whether you return to work or not. If you cannot return to work, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor provides vocational rehabilitation services.

When returning to work

During the rehab process, your insurance carrier provides paperwork about your documented physical status. In some cases, the doctor does not explain that you’ve approved to return to work. However, these documents will state if you have been approved to resume working your job.

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