December 2017

Case Vignette

Scarring And Other Things

Patients suffering personal injuries sometimes sustain lacerations resulting in scars.  Others require operative intervention which also results in some scarring.  Scars will vary in their severity, extent and cosmetic importance. 

ugly TKA scar 1

Chapter 8 in the AMA 5 Guides deals specifically with scarring and the principles of assessment of scars.  Table 8-2 on page 178 is instructive.  Five classes of scarring can be quantified.  At the minor end, Class I yields a loss of between 0 and 9% of whole person function.  At the other end of the extreme, Class V yields a loss of between 85% and 95% of whole person function.

ugly abdominal scar

Most patients sustaining scars as a result of either lacerations or surgical intervention will be within Class I.  A loss of between 0 and 9% of whole person function can therefore be added to their previously combined losses for the purposes of quantifying general damages.

goodlooking TKR scar

It is also possible that the scars may be of such cosmetic importance that plastic surgical revision is indicated.  Additional costs will be involved and these should also be quantified prior to settlement of the claim.

goodlooking THA scar2

WorkCover Queensland has its own GEPI II assessment methodology.  The TEMSKI Guide allows the expert to quantify a loss from scarring.  

goodlooking THA scar