Workman's Comp Injury vs. 1st class medical.


New Member
A back injury (ruptured disk) happened to a friend at work. A microdiskectomy removed the bulge and physical therapy has him back to good health. But, the workman's comp doctor says that any time there is surgery, he has to turn in a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rating, even though he is now fine. Will this cause problems with 1st class physicals for the rest of his life, or can a Flight Surgeon deem him fully recovered even though the workman's comp doctor rates him with a PPD. Thank you.


Well-Known Member
Hi Riverrogue,

The FAA is interested in the airman being functional and able to operate an aircraft. If the airman is as you say and is without weakness, pain, and using no medications it is likely that they will be able to keep a medical. They allow surgery as long as the airman has recovered. If the AME is unable to ascertain this on his/her own then they may ask for reports, which may include surgery reports, physical therapy assessments, etc. If the disability report does not look favorable as you suggested perhaps an independent assessment by an outside physician would be wise.

Best Regards,

Aaron Florkowski, MD
FAA designated FAA Aviation Medical Examiner