We get a ton of calls and e-mails from people who are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. There is a lot to know if you have injury. Here are 10 things I think are important.
- Carpal tunnel is usually a result of repetitive trauma, often from typing or working on an assembly line, but a single incident can cause it to. We’ve helped a lot of people who were diagnosed after falling on to their palms for example.
- To test for carpal tunnel, a doctor will typically order a test called an EMG. It’s an exam that sends minor shock waves through you. I’ve had it and while it’s not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done, it’s over fairly quickly.
- If you have to have a surgery, CTS surgery is probably the safest you can have. I’d estimate that 90% of the people I’ve seen have this operation are as good as new within 4-6 weeks and you don’t usually need much physical therapy.
- There is no set amount of time you need to be on the job and working before you can bring a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois for carpal tunnel. Sometimes people get it after a couple of weeks, other times the body breaks down after many years of service.
- However, the longer you wait to bring a claim after you’ve stopped working, the harder it is to prove that your injuries are work related. In other words, if you quit your job on June 1st and don’t see a doctor for problems with your wrists until September 1st, it would be really hard to prove that your job duties caused your injuries because theoretically your pain should have improved once you stopped working. Moral of the story is that if you are in pain you need to got to the doctor.
- Pregnancy, diabetes and obesity are three common contributors to carpal tunnel, but having any of these doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. The law is that if your job causes, aggravates or accelerates your problems then you should get work comp benefits.
- There are a lot of hired gun doctors for the insurance company that will always state that typing doesn’t cause carpal tunnel problems. These opinions are based on one study from the Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, most of these doctors have no credibility because they treat every case the same. So usually we are able to beat them at trial.
- The big symptoms are pain in the wrists and/or numbness and tingling in your fingers. If this is happening to you, get to a doctor ASAP. Orthopedic hand surgeons are usually the best choice.
- We see a lot of injuries when you increase your workload. It can happen even with just a few extra hours of work. But make sure your increased workload isn’t really you surfing the internet or playing video games at home. That’s a great way to kill a case.
- Believe it or not, some of these cases are actually neck injuries and other times, a neck injury is really carpal tunnel. The EMG test can help sort that out as can a MRI.
And of course there’s a lot more to know. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at any time.