The fourth edition of the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment indicates that the preferred method in rating spine injury is the Injury Model (or Diagnosis Related Estimates Model). This system categorizes impairment based on the presence or absence of differentiators and/or structural inclusions.

One frequent source of confusion in impairment rating is nonverifiable radicular complaints. If these complaints are present an individual falls into Category II (Table 71, 4th ed., 109).

The term “nonverifiable radicular complaints” is an interesting oxymoron. If we call complaints radicular, that implies we know their cause. However, to state that they are nonverifiable means we can—t prove the cause of the complaints, and, technically, the cause is not known.

Table 71 explains this term as “radicular complaints that follow anatomic pathways but cannot be verified by neurologic findings…” (4th ed., 109)....

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