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Workers' compensation: Injuries high for orthopedic surgeons

Orthopedic surgeons here in New Hampshire and elsewhere must be highly skilled and precise to do their jobs well. Unfortunately, many of them also sustain work-related injuries some serious enough to be absent from work and their risk of injury increases the longer they remain in the profession. However, a recent study shows that despite the number of injuries, surgeons are not as likely to report them. Many of them may not be looking into what benefits they may qualify for under workers' compensation.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery recently published a survey of orthopedic surgeons that was conducted at Vanderbilt University. The results show that 44 percent of surgeons surveyed were injured at least once at work. Ten percent of them stated that their injury caused them to miss work. A quarter of respondents sustained hand injuries, the most common injury. Back injuries came in second.

The researchers who conducted the survey also found a correlation between the length of time the surgeons worked and their risk for injury. Those who were relatively new to the profession had fewer incidents of injury. Orthopedic surgeons with 10 or more years of experience reported more injuries.

Only 25 percent actually informed their employers of the injury, and 38 percent said that their employers offer support for workplace injuries. When an injury occurs at any New Hampshire workplace, the employee may find it beneficial to learn more about the workers' compensation laws in our state. An injured worker may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical bills, which may provide some peace of mind as he or she focuses on recovering.

Source: The Huffington Post, Surgeons Can Get Injured On The Job, Too, No author, Nov. 27, 2013

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