Brain MRI isn't reasonable medical treatment for work-related knee injury
Allen v. Malnove Holding Co., No. A-12-953 (Neb. Ct. App. 06/04/13, unpublished).
In an unpublished decision, the Nebraska Court of Appeals held that a pressman was not entitled to benefits for medical treatment, including a deep vein thrombosis examination and an MRI.
What it means: In Nebraska, an employer is liable only for those reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of a compensable accident.
Summary: A lead pressman injured his left knee in the course and scope of his employment when he fell from a platform. He was diagnosed as having contusions and abrasions. He continued to complain of pain, and an MRI revealed degenerative changes in his knee and an abnormal "signal intensity surrounding the ACL." He completed physical therapy. He had sharp pain and underwent three deep vein thrombosis examinations, which all had normal results.
Two doctors found that he was no longer in need of additional treatment.
He independently sought treatment from another doctor and underwent a fourth deep vein thrombosis examination, which had normal results. He also visited a neurologist because he had numbness on his left side. The results of an MRI of his brain and spine suggested pituitary adenoma. The pressman sought benefits for the fourth deep vein thrombosis examination and MRI to his brain and spine. The Nebraska Court of Appeals held that he was not entitled to benefits for these medical treatments.
The court found that the fourth deep vein thrombosis examination was not reasonable and necessary. His previous three examinations all returned normal results. Further, two doctors previously determined that he was no longer in need of additional treatment for his knee.
Regarding the MRI of his brain and spine, the court pointed out that his numbness was not consistent with a fall where he simply hurt his leg. The MRI was recommended to evaluate abnormalities such as multiple sclerosis plaques or a cord injury. The court found that the test was unrelated to or unnecessary for treatment of his compensable leg injury.
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August 19, 2013
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