Johnson v. St. Paul Eye Clinic, P.A., 011819 MNWC, WC18-6203

Docket Nº:WC18-6203
Case Date:January 18, 2019
Court:Minnesota
 
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MICHELLE K. JOHNSON, Employee/Respondent,
v.
ST. PAUL EYE CLINIC, P.A. and SFM MUT. INS. CO., Employer-Insurer/Appellants,
and
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINN. AND BLUE PLUS, Intervenor.
No. WC18-6203
Minnesota Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals
January 18, 2019
         MEDICAL TREATMENT & EXPENSE – REASONABLE & NECESSARY. Substantial evidence in the record supports the compensation judge’s award of the proposed right shoulder surgery as that medical treatment is reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the work injury.          EVIDENCE – EXPERT MEDICAL OPINION. The compensation judge did not abuse her discretion in relying on portions of expert medical opinion offered where the medical opinions relied on were consistent with the judge’s factual findings regarding the employee’s condition.           Gerald W. Bosch, Bosch Law Firm Ltd., St. Paul, Minnesota, for the Respondent.           Steven T. Scharfenberg, Lynn, Scharfenberg & Hollick, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Appellants.           Determined by: Patricia J. Milun, Chief Judge, David A. Stofferahn, Judge, Sean M. Quinn, Judge           Compensation Judge: Miriam P. Rykken          Affirmed.           OPINION           PATRICIA J. MILUN, Chief Judge.          The employer and insurer appeal from the compensation judge’s determination, which relied on the opinion of the employee’s treating physician, Dr. Peter Daly, and on the opinion of independent medical examiner, Dr. Paul Wicklund, that the proposed right shoulder surgery is reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the admitted February 9, 2016, work injury.          BACKGROUND          The employee, Michelle Johnson, is a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant at the St. Paul Eye Clinic. In this position, the employee sets up equipment for the administration of eye examinations. On February 9, 2016, the employee was positioning equipment using her right arm when she heard a pop in her right shoulder and felt immediate pain. She was able to finish her shift, but felt increasing pain through the evening. The following morning, the employee sought medical attention. On examination, swelling was visible in her right shoulder. Tenderness over the supraspinatus and in the region of the glenohumeral joint, acromioclavicular joint and the coracoid process were noted by the examiner. The employer and insurer were provided notice of the injury and accepted liability.          On February 17, 2016, the employee underwent an MRI of her right shoulder, which revealed a small, full-thickness tear of the supraspinatus tendon. Peter Daly, M.D., performed a surgical repair of the tendon on March 8, 2016. The employee reported continuing pain in her right shoulder after the surgery. Her shoulder pain caused sleep interruption and impaired some activities of daily living (ADLs). The employee was released to light duty work on April 5, 2016. She also began physical therapy to strengthen her shoulder. On April 21, 2016, the employee experienced pain and worsening of her shoulder during physical therapy. The employee displayed limited range of motion (ROM) and complained of decreased strength and intermittent tingling running to her fingers following the surgery.          In a follow-up examination with Dr. Daly on July 14, 2016, the employee complained of continued right shoulder pain and limited ROM. On July 20, 2016, the employee underwent an MRI which showed the expected surgical alterations to the employee’s right shoulder, along with tendonitis and bursal inflammation. On August 3, 2016, the employee...

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