For most Illinois work injuries, if it happens to you, you’ll have heard of it before. Athletes tear their ACL’s all the time and hurt their back, neck, rotator cuffs, etc. You of course don’t want those injuries, but it can be a little re-assuring to know that you aren’t the only one who has this problem.
There are, however, some work injuries that you rarely hear about. One of those that we have dealt with a lot is trigger finger.
Trigger finger is when the fingers or thumb lock when they are bent. The tendons have a sheath around them, when those sheaths become inflamed it can cause it to snap or pop or snap which creates the locking of the finger. The actions that cause this condition include repeated movement or forceful use of the finger or thumb. Like the way a musician makes the same movement with their finger over and over again, or how a farmer is forcefully using his finger on the vibrating farming equipment. Some people who type a lot for their jobs experience trigger finger as well from the repetitive nature of their job duties.
Trigger finger is more common in women than it is in men. There are several symptoms to trigger finger/thumb, which include soreness and a painful clicking or snapping when attempting to bend or straighten the finger, which eventually leads to the finger locking completely.
Trigger finger is treated in several ways depending on the severity of the case. The most common treatment is to splint the finger once straight and allowing time for the tendons to heal. Doctors may also treat with inflammatory, steroids and even cortisone shots to help with the pain. In the worst of cases, tendon release surgery may be needed with a follow up of occupational physical therapy. It’s a relatively quick surgery and typically you are only off work for a few weeks if it’s successful.
As an injured worker with this problem you should know that if a lawyer doesn’t have a real track record of handling these cases then they are not the right attorney for you. Many repetitive trauma injury claims get denied because the insurance company can often find an IME doctor who is willing to state that your problem is not work related and since there is no specific accident, they’ll come up with another reason why you are hurt.
Bottom line is that you need to be prepared that this can happen and have an attorney who knows how to counter this nonsense in your corner. Every lawyer in our state wide network has experience with trigger finger claims.
If you’d like our help, please contact us at any time. It is free to ask us questions and discuss the details of your case. You can call us at (312) 346-5578 or complete the contact form online.