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According to the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Fourth Edition, IMPAIRMENT is defined as: "The loss, loss of use, or derangement of any body part, system, or function."

In the same Guides, DISABILITY is defined as: "A decrease in, or the loss or absence of, the capacity of an individual to meet personal, social, or occupational demands, or to meet statutory or regulatory requirements."

In the same individual, a permanent impairment of the dominant extremity, does not always produce a greater disability than the same permanent impairment of the non-dominant extremity.