Many Connecticut workers rely on their hands to earn a living, including carpenters, computer operators and machine operators, to name just a few. Injuries to the wrists and hands, while neither life-threatening nor crippling, can have a severe adverse effect on using the hands for work-related tasks. Persons who perform repetitive tasks using their hands often suffer a work-related injury known as carpal tunnel syndrome, and this condition can often interfere with or limit the effective use of the worker’s hands.
The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist at the base of the palm that is formed by ligaments. The median nerve runs from the forearm through the carpal tunnel and provides sensation to the palm side of the thumb and fingers. If the carpal tunnel is narrowed by injury or disease, it puts pressure on the median nerve and causes numbness and tingling in the hand or fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also weaken the hand and limit its ability to grab and hold objects. If the condition persists, it can cause pain in the hand and fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome has a number of causes, including disease, a fractured wrist, or irritation to the ligaments that form the carpal tunnel. Cures for carpal tunnel syndrome include anti-inflammatory medication, use of a brace to restrict the movement of the wrist and surgery. Surgical treatment involves severing the ligament that encloses the median nerve. Severing the ligament provides more space for the median nerve and can provide significant symptomatic relief from carpal tunnel symptoms.
If carpal tunnel syndrome persists for a significant length of time, it can interfere with a person’s ability to perform work functions. If the carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by one or more work-related factors, such as repetitive stress injury, the worker may be eligible for worker’s compensation disability benefits. Anyone suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome who is considering seeking workers’ compensation benefits may benefit from consulting an attorney who is experienced with handling such claims. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide an evaluation of the injury and the likelihood of recovering benefits for medical expenses and lost wages.
Source: Mayo Clinic, “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,” accessed on Jan. 7, 2018