71 Van Natta 691 (2019)
In the Matter of the Compensation of CHRISTINA L. PETTIGROVE, Claimant
WCB No. 18-00743
Oregon Worker Compensation
July 2, 2019
Phillips Polich, Claimant Attorneys
Byerly & Holloway, Defense Attorneys
Reviewing Panel: Members Woodford and Ousey.
ORDER ON REVIEW
requests review of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Mills’s order that upheld the self-insured
employer’s denial of her new/omitted medical condition
claim for a lumbar radiculopathy condition. On review, the
issue is compensability.
adopt and affirm the ALJ’s order with the following
October 31, 2016 and November 28, 2016, claimant received
physical therapy treatment on four occasions. (Exs. 1, 2, 3,
4). She reported right leg pain from the hip to the top of
the foot and numbness in the right side of her foot. She
reported that the pain began after she caught her foot and
fell. (Ex. 1). The physical therapist assessed right lumbar
December 7, 2016, claimant fell at work while walking on a
surface made slippery by de-icing spray. (Ex. 5). She sought
treatment the same day, complaining of lower back pain. (Ex.
6-1). She was diagnosed with a lumbar strain. (Ex. 6-2).
February 7, 2017, the employer accepted a lumbar strain. (Ex.
in February 2017, claimant treated with Dr. Cribbs. (Ex. 10).
She reported right sciatic pain and persistent tailbone pain.
(Exs. 10, 18). On May 8, 2017, she reported worsening right
sciatic pain and pain from the right hip to the right ankle.
(Ex. 26-1). She did not report her prior injury, her previous
symptoms, or her physical therapy treatment.
10, 2017, MRI revealed an L5-S1 right central disc herniation
impinging the right S1 nerve root. (Ex. 28).
20, 2017, Dr. Kaesche examined claimant at the
employer’s request. (Ex. 37). Based on the MRI, he
diagnosed preexisting L5-S1 degenerative lumbar disease, as
well as an L5-S1 disc herniation with right S1 [71 Van Natta
692] radiculopathy. (Ex. 37-10). He noted that claimant had
symptoms following a radicular pattern from the date of the
December 7, 2016, injury. (Ex. 37-12). He reasoned that the
lack of sciatic symptoms prior to the date of injury and the
onset of symptoms on the date of the work injury were
consistent with the lumbar radiculopathy being the result of
the December 7, 2017, work injury. (Id.) Thus,
assuming a valid history, Dr. Kaesche concluded that the
major contributing cause of claimant’s disability/need
for treatment was the “development of S1 radiculopathy
secondary to the fall superimposed upon preexisting
degenerative disc disease at L5-S1.” (Ex. 37-13).
Cribbs concurred with Dr. Kaesche’s opinion on June 26,
2017. (Ex. 38).
11, 2017, the employer modified its acceptance to include the
L5-S1 disc herniation. (Ex. 40).
November 9, 2017, claimant requested acceptance of lumbar
radiculopathy. (Ex. 42). The employer denied the claim for
that condition on January 18, 2017. (Ex. 44).
February 3, 2018, Dr. McDonald examined claimant at the
employer’s request. (Ex. 45). Claimant stated that her
radicular symptoms began in...