Some injured employees never fully recover to their pre-injury status even though they may do as much healing as possible. When a work-related injury has healed as much as possible and maximum medical improvement (MMI) has occurred as determined by the authorized treating physician, an injured employee will likely be released from the physician's care. This might happen even if the injured employee has been referred for other additional services such as physical therapy, pain management and possibly work hardening sessions.
The authorized treating physician may assign a permanent impairment rating using the applicable edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. The impairment rating, combined with other factors, may be used to help determine the amount of any permanent disability benefits that the injured employee might be entitled to receive.
Tennessee Department of Labor/Bureau of Workers' Compensation