Vanderbilt Law Review


Larry A. Bear

First Page



No lawyer regularly involved in workmen's compensation litigation can do a worthwhile job for his client unless he has a comprehensive and intelligent acquaintance with all branches of medicine. In the ordinary course of his practice, the workmen's compensation lawyer must deal with all types of industrial diseases, and even with disorders in the field of neurology and psychiatry.' Familiarity with a variety of medical conditions is made necessary because of such basic medico-legal problems as causation, involving the industrial or non-industrial origin of the disability at issue, dilration and the like. Of all the industrial injuries with which the workmen's compensation attorney must deal, none have created as much interest or caused as much comment in recent years, among lawyers and doctors alike, as have injuries to the intervertebral discs.

It is necessary, of course, that one have a fundamental understanding of the intervertebral disc as a medical entity before any discussion can be undertaken of the medico-legal problems that injuries to the discs occasion. The first section of this paper will therefore be devoted to a discussion of the intervertebral discs from a medical viewpoint.