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Atkinson Gerber Law Office

Injured? Take Action Now!

Atkinson Gerber Law Office
Injured? Take Action Now!

Get Experienced Help With Your Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Claim For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

At the Atkinson Gerber Law Office, we represent people with all types of workplace injuries, including those caused by repetitive motion or cumulative trauma. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common repetitive strain injuries. It is a type of nerve damage caused by irritation and compression of the median nerve in the wrist. This is the nerve that controls feeling and movement in not only the wrist but also other parts of the hand and fingers.

Who Is Likely To Suffer From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Many jobs and tasks, over time, may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

  • Typing and using a mouse
  • Using laboratory tools
  • Working with a vibrating tool such as a jackhammer
  • Working at a cash register
  • Assembly-line work
  • Other repetitive motions at work, including repetitive grasping

These types of tasks are often associated with workers such as:

  • Office workers
  • Health care workers
  • Construction workers
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Cashiers
  • Factory workers
  • Hairdressers
  • Seamstresses
  • Chefs, cooks and bakers
  • Professional drivers
  • Professional athletes

This is not a complete list of occupations. Call us if you do not see yours listed here.

Are you at a higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome? See the “common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome” section below.

Recently, the Mayo Clinic conducted a study of its own employees in an attempt to refute the assumption that typing causes carpal tunnel syndrome. However, responses may have been swayed by employees’ fear of losing their jobs. No independent study has been conducted, and typing on a computer keyboard is one of the most commonly identified causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Common Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome has many causes, including:

  • Making repetitive small motions with the hands
  • Making repetitive grasping motions with the hands
  • A history of carpal tunnel syndrome in the family
  • Arthritis
  • Major hormonal changes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid gland imbalance
  • Infection
  • Injuries to the wrist

If you experience symptoms and have any of these potential causes, it is best to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Then, if you do have Carpal tunnel syndrome, you can start getting treatment sooner.

Recognize The Signs And Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are numerous symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but you may not have all of them. In general, they include:

  • Numbness in the fingers, primarily in the thumb, index and middle fingers
  • A burning sensation in the fingers
  • Pain in the wrist, hands and/or fingers
  • Waking up in the morning with pain after a night of rest
  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Pain and/or tingling that affects the arm
  • Weakness in the hand
  • A tendency to drop objects from the affected hand

If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and you believe it is related to your work, seek medical attention with a doctor of your choice, report the workplace injury to your employer, and contact our lawyers for workers’ compensation advice and guidance.

Common Treatments For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are many possibilities for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Your doctor may recommend several of these options:

  • Stop the activities that make the symptoms worse
  • Rest the affected hand and wrist
  • Elevate your wrist
  • Use ice packs to decrease swelling
  • Get a splint for your wrist that you wear at night
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Get injections of corticosteroids
  • Make ergonomic changes to your workstation
  • Do physical therapy exercises as recommended by your doctor

For the most severe cases, you may need to have surgery to relieve your symptoms. If this is a work injury, you need to get preapproval from the workers’ compensation insurance company before you have surgery.

What Are The Short- And Long-Term Implications Of Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel generally gets worse over time, especially when left untreated. In the short term, you may experience pain, tingling and weakness in the hands, wrists or fingers that starts out gradually. Over time, those symptoms may increase in severity and cause permanent dysfunction. Some cases may require surgical treatment.

Why Is Carpal Tunnel Eligible For Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ comp covers work-related injuries, including repetitive stress injuries. It also covers existing injuries that are worsened by your job conditions. Carpal tunnel often results from long-term computer use and other repetitive motions that strain the delicate tendons and ligaments in the wrist area, and when it happens or gets worse due to work conditions, it qualifies as a work injury for purposes of workers’ compensation.

How Do You Prove That Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Was Due To Work?

This is an area where robust evidence is key. You will need written documentation from your doctor that your carpal tunnel is work-related. If you had pre-existing carpal tunnel, and your work conditions aggravated it, you will need further evidence to show that your work contributed substantially to your current condition.

What To Do If Your Carpal Tunnel Requires Surgery?

You will need pre-approval from the workers’ comp insurer for carpal tunnel surgery. It’s important to work with a trusted surgeon who is highly knowledgeable about this condition and who can make a strong case to the insurer that surgery is necessary.

Free Consultations Available – Contact Our Office Today

To schedule a free initial consultation, call 800-583-7016. Our attorneys can be reached 24/7 with our after-hours answering service and are available to schedule consultations to meet at your convenience. If your injury prevents you from visiting our staff in the office, we are happy to make home, hospital and off-site consultations by appointment. We represent clients in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and statewide.

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