FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NOS.
G600680, G600681, G705560]
Carroll Law Firm, by: Shannon Muse Carroll, for appellant.
Law Firm PLLC, by: Karen H. McKinney, for appellees.
MEREDITH B. SWITZER, JUDGE
Reed appeals the Workers' Compensation Commission's
decision denying compensability of injuries she allegedly
suffered on three different dates while employed by appellee
First Step, Inc. First Step initially accepted Reed's
first two injuries as compensable but ultimately controverted
those two incidents in their entirety; the third incident was
always controverted. Reed contends substantial evidence does
not support the Commission's denial of compensability. We
affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.
alleged she injured her left shoulder and the left side of
her neck on August 25, 2015, when she was lifting files out
of a filing cabinet and felt a "pull" and
"burning" on her left side from her neck and
shoulder area down to her fingers. Dr. Mark Larey, who saw
Reed on the date of the injury, diagnosed her with a
sprain/strain of the neck and pain in her left arm. Although
Dr. Larey's exam revealed no swelling, bruising, or wound
of Reed's cervical spine, he noted a palpable spasm. Dr.
Larey placed Reed on restricted duty and prescribed
prednisone, Ultracet, and Flexeril. Dr. Larey saw Reed again
on September 9, and he again noted a palpable spasm in
Reed's cervical region. Reed was prescribed Xanax and
remained on restricted duty.
September 14 MRI of Reed's cervical spine was normal,
without evidence of spinal canal stenosis or neural foraminal
narrowing. Dr. Larey examined Reed a third time on September
15; her symptoms remained unchanged, and Dr. Larey again
noted a palpable spasm in her cervical spine. Reed was
prescribed Voltaren, Flexeril, and acetaminophen with
codeine, and she remained on restricted duty. Dr. Larey saw
Reed again on October 1 and 19 and on November 9 and 23. He
noted palpable spasms of Reed's cervical spine at these
visits and continued Reed on restricted duty. An
electromyography and nerve conduction study (EMG) of
Reed's left shoulder was performed on November 25.
According to Dr. Larey, the results were "well within
claimed her second injury occurred on December 16, 2015. As
she was sitting in her chair filing papers in an accordion
file on the floor, the chair came out from under her and she
fell to the floor, hitting her right shoulder on her desk.
According to Reed, when the chair flipped, it landed on her.
Larey examined Reed the same day. He noted her complaints of
continued pain in her left shoulder from the first incident,
and she complained of pain in her cervical, thoracic, and
lumbar spine and in both shoulders due to the second injury.
She also claimed that at the time of this injury, her left
shoulder had not improved from the August 2015 incident. Dr.
Larey noted that Reed was "diffusely tender" in the
lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine and in the
shoulder-girdle regions, and she had decreased range of
motion in her cervical spine and right shoulder. He diagnosed
her with lumbar, thoracic, and cervical-spine strain in
connection with her second injury. Reed remained on
of Reed's left shoulder was performed on January 14,
2016. The results of this MRI were "(1) degenerative
changes of the acromioclavicular joint and findings
suggesting impingement anatomy; (2) tendinosis of the
supraspinatus tendon; and (3) degenerative changes humeral
head." Dr. Larey examined Reed again on January 18, and
although Reed continued to complain of pain and limited range
of motion in her left arm and neck, Dr. Larey's
examination of her left shoulder, shoulder girdle, and
cervical spine was unremarkable; no palpable spasm was noted.
Reed also complained of pain in her lower right back, her
right thoracic-spine region, and her right shoulder; however,
Dr. Larey noted no swelling, bruising, wound, or spasms in
any of these areas. Dr. Larey discharged Reed from his care
and returned her to regular duty on January 18 with
instructions to complete her physical-therapy regimen. A
physical-therapy note dated February 19, 2016, the last day
of Reed's physical therapy, included a diagnosis of
"right shoulder strain, lumbar strain with radiating
right hip pain, spasms."
was subsequently seen for her right-shoulder pain by Dr.
Shahryar Ahmadi on August 2. An MRI of Reed's right
shoulder, performed on August 23, revealed the following
(1) Findings suggestive of calcific tendinitis involving the
infraspinatus tendons with increased signal within the
infraspinatus and conjoined tendons which may be related to
inflammatory changes from crystal deposition. Small amount of
fluid in the subacromial/subdeltoid bursa.
(2) Severe acromioclavicular osteoarthritis.
(3) Small paralabral cysts adjacent to the mid anterior
labrum which may be related to an underlying degenerative
on the MRI results, Dr. Ahmadi recommended right-shoulder
arthroscopy and debridement with possibility of ...