Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition caused by compression of the median nerve, which travels from the wrist to the hand through the carpal tunnel. This compression creates pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring fingers. Some people affected with the condition can feel the effects in the forearm or upper arm. If the condition becomes severe enough, people can experience wrist pain, loss of grip strength, and loss of manual dexterity. CTS affects anywhere from 4 to 10 million individuals in the United States.
What Causes It?
Doctors can’t pinpoint the exact cause of CTS, but they have found a connection between its development and other health conditions, such as obesity, thyroid disease, diabetes, arthritis, and wrist fractures. Currently, people continue to debate the connection between CTS and repetitive motion at work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented rules and regulations regarding cumulative trauma disorders, or injuries caused by repetitive irritation of the same area. Depending on your employer’s workers’ comp policy, you may be able to seek compensation.
While CTS can’t be precisely targeted to one cause, people are aware that any repetitive motion which irritates your median nerve might trigger the condition. Because people spend the majority of their day at work exposed to the same kinds of repetitive activities, workplaces are the primary places people will develop CTS. Repetitive motions such as typing, cashiering, and pushing, slicing, or pressing objects can all irritate that area. In Pennsylvania, if you can prove your work caused your CTS, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy should cover the cost of your medical treatments and any wages you lose while you recover.
It is also possible to acquire CTS after an accident which damaged your carpal tunnel or median nerve. For example, let’s say you were in a car accident, and your wrist was broken during the event. Several months later, after your wrist has healed, you develop CTS. Even if you learn of the condition after the statute of limitations (2 years), Pennsylvania law will allow you to file a claim after your recent discovery.
While it may not seem severe, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause severe pain. Don’t let your condition go untreated. Call our Schuylkill personal injury attorneys to discuss your case today. Our lawyers have more than five decades of experience fighting for injured individuals. Contact us at (888) 268-0023 or fill out our online form to schedule a case review.