Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition affecting the hand, fingers, and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the hand to the arm, becomes compressed where the hand and wrist meet. The condition is given its name due to the protective sheath covering the median nerve – the carpal tunnel. A person suffering from CTS may experience burning, tingling, numbness, and extreme pain in the palm of the hand.
Although CTS is often caused by work-related repetitive motions such as typing, proving that you have CTS – for the purpose of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits – is not always an easy task. If you are suffering from symptoms of CTS, the first step is to visit your doctor for an exam. CTS rarely gets better on its own. In fact, in most cases, symptoms will progress if left untreated. In addition to getting treatment for your CTS, a visit to the doctor will also establish a medical record of your condition, which can be immensely beneficial if you decide to file a workers’ comp claim. A Boston workers’ comp attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you are suffering from a work-related injury.
The Problem with Repetitive Stress Injuries
CTS injuries are often more difficult to prove than other work-related injuries. For starters, all repetitive motion injuries occur over time, rather than due to an isolated accident. Consider the following scenarios:
- Bob falls from scaffolding and is knocked unconscious, prompting his co-workers to call an ambulance. At the hospital, doctors discover that Bob has a broken leg. As a result, Bob is unable to work for two months, incurring thousands of dollars in medical bills.
- John works on an assembly line. After two years of assembling the same car parts over and over again, day in and day out, he develops extreme pain in his right hand. The debilitating pain makes it impossible for John to perform his job. John reports the pain to his supervisor who tells him to go to Rite-Aid and get a wrist brace if it’s bothering him.
Which of the above scenarios is more likely to end with a successful workers’ comp claim? The reality is, both Bob and John should be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. But Bob’s scaffolding accident and casted leg are easier to evaluate than John’s sudden complaint of pain in his hand. His employer might also argue that the wrist pain – even with an official carpal tunnel diagnosis – is a pre-existing condition. In either case, the help of a skilled MA workers’ comp attorney will help ensure that you get the benefits you deserve in a timely manner.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Facts and Statistics
If you are suffering from CTS, you are not alone. It is the most common nerve disorder of the upper extremities.
- Approximately five percent of the working population suffers from CTS.
- CTS surgery is the most commonly-performed surgery of the hand and wrist, with more than 460,000 surgeries annually in the US.
- According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, almost two-thirds of work-related injuries to the upper body are due to repetitive trauma.
- Women have twice the risk of developing CTS as men.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Top Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in MA
If you have been injured on the job, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. Most work-related injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ comp, but – as we discussed above – some injuries are not as easy to prove as others. Further, application errors can result in delayed or reduced benefits. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve in a timely manner. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.