Abstract

Physicians use a variety of methodologies within the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Sixth Edition, to rate nerve injuries depending on the type of injury and location of the nerve. Traumatic injuries that cause impairment to the peripheral or brachial plexus nerves are rated using Section 15.4e, Peripheral Nerve and Brachial Plexus Impairment, for upper extremities and Section 16.4c, Peripheral Nerve Rating Process, for lower extremities. Verifiable nerve lesions that incite the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome, type II (similar to the former concept of causalgia), also are rated in these sections. Nerve entrapments, which are not isolated traumatic events, are rated using the methodology in Section 15.4f, Entrapment Neuropathy. Type I complex regional pain syndrome is rated using Section 15.5, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for upper extremities or Section 16.5, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for lower extremities. The method for grading the sensory and motor deficits is analogous to the method described in previous editions of AMA Guides. Rating the permanent impairment of the peripheral nerves or brachial plexus is similar to the methodology used in the diagnosis-based impairment scheme with the exceptions that the physical examination grade modifier is never used to adjust the default rating and the names of individual nerves or plexus trunks, as opposed to the names of diagnoses, appear in the far left column of the rating grids.

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