APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION DIVISION
523 N.E.2d 1029, 169 Ill. App. 3d 670, 120 Ill. Dec. 118 1988.IL.607
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Mary M. Conrad, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY, P.J., and McNAMARA, WOODWARD, and CALVO, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCCULLOUGH
Claimant appeals from an order of the circuit court which confirmed a finding by the Industrial Commission (Commission) that claimant's temporary disability ended in March 1983. On appeal, claimant maintains he established he is entitled to additional benefits because of his continuing disability. Claimant argues he is also entitled to an award of additional medical expenses. Finally, respondent argues claimant is entitled to a smaller award of benefits and medical expenses because the record establishes claimant's temporary disability ended prior to the date fixed by the Commission.
On August 20, 1981, claimant, a carpenter, injured his lower back while working for respondent. Claimant notified his employer of the accident and three days later began acupuncture treatments with Dr. Sunderlage, who administered 21 such treatments and released claimant to return to work on November 19, 1981. In February 1982 claimant saw Dr. Fisk because of continuing lower back pain. Fisk treated claimant with therapy for four weeks between February and March 1982.
In May 1982, claimant saw Dr. Imana, a neurosurgeon, who conducted nerve tests. Imana sent claimant to Dr. Yuhas for further tests. After a CAT scan and myelogram, Imana performed a laminectomy on the L5-S1 disc on June 18, 1982, and subsequently released claimant to return to work on August 17, 1982.
Claimant was unable to return to respondent's employ, however, because it had gone out of business. In September 1982 claimant accepted light carpentry work from a contractor. This employment lasted six to eight weeks before claimant quit because his back continued to hurt.
Claimant returned to Dr. Imana, who performed a myelogram and prescribed rehabilitation pain center treatment which claimant declined because prior therapy and manipulation of his back did not aid his condition. In December 1982 claimant went to Dr. Brackett, an orthopedist, who performed manipulative therapy on two occasions. Claimant discontinued these sessions because he felt worse after treatment than before. Claimant also visited Dr. Fox on February 8, 1983, for further tests.
Thereafter claimant sought treatment from Dr. Yarzagaray, a neurosurgeon, on March 15, 1983. Yarzagaray sent him to Dr. Sullivan, who performed EMG and nerve conduction tests. Claimant was also treated by Dr. Biller from May 1983 through November 1983. Biller referred claimant to Dr. Blair, who prescribed a TENS unit which provided mild electric shock to claimant's back. Claimant wore the TENS unit constantly until May 1984.
Claimant returned to work in February 1984 running a machine for a manufacturer who produced plastic television parts. This employment lasted 34 days before claimant quit, complaining of exhaustion and constant pain. In May 1984 claimant attempted to work as a garage door opener installer. He quit after the second day, stating he was not able to lift the 15-pound weight. In August 1984 claimant went to work for Data Company for an unspecified period performing unspecified labor.
In May 1984 claimant went to Dr. McNeill, an orthopedic surgeon, who, in September 1984, suggested claimant began wearing a TLSO back brace and suggested fusion surgery to supplement the previous laminectomy. Claimant testified he did not permit fusion surgery because he could not afford it. A CAT scan was performed in August 1985 by McNeill, who again suggested this procedure.
At the arbitration hearing, claimant testified he continues to suffer numbness and pain in his legs and back. The brace restricts his movement but relieves his pain. Claimant stated he can work while wearing the ...