This isn’t our usual Illinois work comp post, but it’s relevant. The Boston Red Sox have a pitcher named David Price who they are paying many millions to pitch for them. He was just diagnosed with what is a somewhat unusual injury for a pitcher, carpal tunnel syndrome.
You typically see carpal tunnel in those who type all day or use their hands and wrists for repetitive activities, often with a lot of force. Price, who reportedly has a mild case of carpal tunnel, might be playing a lot of video games of typing a lot on his phone or computer. Maybe he has diabetes. He’s not pregnant or overweight. All of those things can lead to developing carpal tunnel.
It’s also certainly possible that strengthening exercises caused this to happen. Or maybe he fell hard on his hands. Or maybe he puts a lot of pressure on his wrist when he throws a curve ball or some other pitch. We do know that he was pitching well and then lasted just one inning in one start when he left due to numbness in his throwing hand along with a loss of feeling in his finger tips. That sure sounds like carpal tunnel to me. In four starts since then he’s gotten rocked, giving up 20 runs in 22 innings.
While he likely won’t ever file a workers’ compensation claim because he’s making so much money from baseball and has a guaranteed contract, if this was a pitcher for the Cubs or White Sox, they’d certainly have a case.
Club officials are calling the diagnosis good news which I guess it is if they suspected he might have a shoulder or elbow injury. But the reality is that you can bet he will at some point have to have a carpal tunnel release surgery. One thing I’ve seen in 20 plus years of handling cases is that when you get carpal tunnel and don’t stop the activity that is causing the pain and numbness, it won’t go away without surgery. It might have been curable had they gotten to it sooner, but it sounds like it’s fairly severe now.
If this happens to you and you are not a millionaire athlete with a guaranteed contract, the most important thing you can do is get to a doctor right away. If they can treat it right away and you can make some accommodations to your activities, you might be able to avoid surgery. We’ve been involved in hundreds of carpal tunnel claims in Illinois. If you have questions or want help with a case, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free, confidential consultation.