My clients want me to express my spinal impairment ratings not as whole-person ratings, but in terms of the neck or the low back. How do I make this conversion?

With the Injury Model, the cervicothoracic spine (the neck) is considered to comprise 35% of total body function, the thoracolumbar spine 20%, and the lumbosacral spine (the back) 75% (4th ed., 95). To convert to these regions, divide the whole-person impairment by these percentages. For example, the regional spine impairment for a cervicothoracic (neck) DRE Category II (5%) is 14% (5% divided by 35%). For a lumbosacral (back) DRE Category II, the regional impairment is 7% (5% divided by 75%).

In assessing lower extremity peripheral nerve injuries, should I grade the extent of motor and sensory deficit or directly utilize the impairment values specified in section 3.2k?


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