[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS COMPENSATION COMMISSION [NOS.
G600680, G600681, G705560]
Law Firm, by: Shannon Muse Carroll, Hot Springs National
Park, for appellant.
Law Firm PLLC, by: Karen H. McKinney, Little Rock, for
B. SWITZER, Judge
Teakqwanda Reed appeals the Workers Compensation
Commissions decision denying compensability of injuries she
allegedly suffered on three different dates while employed by
appellee First Step, Inc. First Step initially accepted
Reeds 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 Commissions denial of
compensability. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in
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. Lareys exam revealed no swelling, bruising, or wound of
Reeds 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 Reeds cervical
region. Reed was prescribed Xanax and remained on restricted
September 14 MRI of Reeds 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 Reeds cervical spine at these
visits and continued Reed on restricted duty. An
electromyography and nerve conduction study (EMG) of Reeds
left shoulder was performed on November 25. According to Dr.
Larey, the results were "well within normal
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 Reeds 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. Lareys 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 Reeds 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 Reeds right shoulder,
performed on August 23, revealed the following impressions:
(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 ...