Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and other repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are among the most common on the job injuries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, many do not realize they suffer from a workplace injury or that it may make them eligible to receive workers’ compensation to assist them in paying for medical treatment, and obtaining compensation for lost wages as result of the injury.
First it is important to understand what it is like for someone who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. A CTS victim, whether an office worker, retail employee, or trade worker, spends most of their day trying to ignore the tingling and numbness in their hands and wrist. This can become extremely painful and made worse by repetitive movements a worker is required to make throughout the workday.
The cause of this pain and tingling is an injury to the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tube that runs through your wrist (palm side) and serves as a conduit or protective sheath for the nine tendons that control your fingers, and the main nerve in your hand. With repetitive movements, this tunnel can become pinched or compressed. When the carpal tunnel is compressed, the main nerve of the hand will be affected causing the pain, numbness, tingling and weakness of the hand and fingers as well as the wrist.
What makes matters worse is the pain doesn’t go away when you go home for the day. In fact, it is often worse at night while you are trying to sleep. Many workers think this is just a normal thing, which will get better over time. Unfortunately, the opposite is usually true. The pain in your hand or wrist can radiate up you arm resulting in a sharp pain that is virtually unbearable.
What many do not realize is this is a work-related injury. If you suffer from CTS, you could contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Boston to discuss your rights. Your employer may be required to pay for your medical bills, future medial treatment, occupational therapy, and for any lost income from missing work due to CTS.
According to a recent article form Greenville Online, doctors are now using a new endoscopic surgical procedure, which will only require a single stitch in many cases. This will greatly reduce the recovery time from carpal tunnel surgery as compared to traditional surgical procedures.
Traditional surgery required an open incision so doctors could access the carpal tunnel. With endoscopic surgery, doctors can make a very small hole and insert an endoscopic camera and miniature surgical instruments into the patient’s hand. The surgeon can then make a very small hole in the carpal tunnel itself to relieve the compression. The inner hole is closed with a single application of glue, and the external incision is closed with a single stitch.
This surgery only takes 10 minutes on average to complete and the injured worker can resume normal activities as soon as they leave the hospital. The only restriction is no heavy lifting for a short time following the procedure.
If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim: 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Fowler v Vista Care – Court Declines to Limit Access to Workers’ Compensation, June 28, 2014, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog