Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1571 14
V. Marafioti
  • Permanent impairment {NEL} (degree of impairment) (hip)
  • Permanent impairment {NEL} (rating schedule) (AMA Guides)

The worker suffered a left hip injury in 2005. In Decision No. 1381/12, the Tribunal found that the worker had a permanent impairment. The Board then granted the worker a 3% NEL award. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer confirming the quantum of the award.

The worker had a labral tear of the left hip. The parameters for rating impairment of the hip joint are found in the AMA Guides in Tables 41-44 for abnormal range of motion and in Table 45 for other disorder of the hip joint. According to Table 45, consideration of impairment percentage is given for replacement arthroplasty, non-union of hip fracture, avascular necrosis and loose hip prosthesis. Thus, a labral tear is not considered to be an other disorder of the hip joint; rather, it would be recognized through rating of abnormal range of motion. In this case, the evidence indicated that there was no abnormal range of motion. Thus, based only on the AMA Guides, the rating of the worker's condition would result in a 0% impairment.
The Board then used its Adjudicative Advice document on NEL ratings for repetitive strain injuries, and granted the 3% NEL award, even though the worker's injury was not a repetitive strain injury. However, that document does contain a provision for use of the repetitive strain injury criteria in certain situations in which there are non-repetitive injuries.
The Vice-Chair was satisfied that the worker's condition was rated appropriately. The appeal was dismissed.