September 2001 AAOS Report

AAOS offers workers' comp course

Workers' compensation cases are a significant part of many orthopaedists' practice. There is an Academy course that covers the subject in depth. Three issues generally interplay in "comp" cases: return to work, occupational health and ergonomics. "The orthopaedist sometimes doesn't take all three issues into account while treating the patient." said J. Mark Melhorn, MD, co-chairman of the course with Joseph S. Barr Jr., MD. "For example, early appropriate return to work provides the physician the best opportunity to reduce disability and improve outcome. Just as for the athlete, accommodated activity and therapy provide muscles and other tissues the best environment for healthy recovery while providing a more stable quality of life for the patient." This course can help orthopaedists learn appropriate messages to convey to their patients. Learning how to protect workers is another important issue to be discussed at "Occupational Orthopaedics and Workers' Compensation: A Multidisciplinary Perspective," which will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 2-4, 2001.

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