Determining Causality of Railroad Workers’ Lumbar Injury Claim

This case study explores a dispute over a railroad worker's claim of lumbar injuries and radiculopathy, allegedly resulting from a workplace accident.

ByExpert Institute


Published on February 6, 2024

Close up of a railroad track

Case Overview

In this case study, we discuss an injury sustained by a railroad worker while performing regular duties. A railroad track fell across the individual’s lower extremities, resulting in a broken toe in 2019. Currently, the plaintiff alleges that they sustained L3-5 lumbar injuries and radiculopathy as a direct result of this workplace accident.

The patient previously underwent a partial laminectomy at L4-L5 in 2016. They sought medical attention for back pain and are now under the care of a pain specialist.

They have been referred for a spinal cord stimulator and full laminectomy at L4-L5. However, there is contention surrounding these lumbar injuries, with allegations that there were pre-existing conditions unrelated to the workplace accident.

To clarify this matter, a neurosurgeon has been engaged to review the medical records and provide an Independent Medical Examination (IME) to ascertain causation and damages.

Questions to the expert and their responses


How often do you see patients that require a spinal cord stimulator?

As a board-certified neurological surgeon specializing in complex spine and spinal deformities, I encounter patients considered for spinal cord stimulators weekly.


What factors contribute to recommending a spinal cord stimulator for radiculopathy and lumbar pain?

Several factors come into play when recommending a spinal cord stimulator. These include the severity of the patient’s symptoms, the type of pain, their response to more conservative treatments, and their overall health status.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, please elaborate.

Yes, I have worked on cases in the past where it was necessary to determine if a patient’s injuries were due to pre-existing conditions or resulted from work-related incidents. I am confident that I can provide valuable insights into this case.

About the expert

This expert is a highly experienced neurosurgeon with extensive training in complex spine and spinal deformity. They completed their medical education and neurosurgery residency at renowned institutions, followed by specialized fellowships in craniovertebral junction and spinal oncology. Currently co-directing neurological services at a quality care medical center in Arizona, they are board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and an active member of several prestigious neurosurgical associations. Their background makes them particularly suited to provide insights into cases involving neurological injuries and conditions.

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