Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A Medical or Legal Issue? by Legal Pub
Numbness or pain in your wrist or fingers? Perhaps you have carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS can affect the hand and sometimes the whole lower arm and even the shoulder. But here is the clue for lawyers and potential plaintiffs: Carpal tunnel syndorme (CTS) is not typically caused by a single trauma! In the vast majority of the cases, CTS is the result of repetitive overuse of the wrist. So, think workers compensation rather than personal injury litigation and you likely will be on the right track in deciphering who is responsible for paying for treatment.
Symptoms of CTS may include:
-Numbness or pain in the hand, forearm, or wrist that affects sleep.
-Occasional tingling, numbness, "pins-and-needles" sensation, or pain.
-Pain or numbness that gets worse while using the hand or wrist in a flexed (bent) position.
-Occasional aching in the region between the elbow and wrist.
-Finger stiffness in the morning.
In more severe cases of CTS, numbness may result in decreased grip strength and actual weakness of the fingers, thumb, or hand. Symptoms increase when the muscles innervated by the median nerve our affected. Decreased strength in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger are consistent with median nerve involvement. However, if there are complaints with the little finger, it is not the result of median nerve damage associated with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
CTS may occur in one or both hands. Symptoms are first noted at night and are typically associated with sleep disturbance. The condition is often first noticed at night when the patient complains of interrupted sleep. However, an injury to muscles, ligaments and tendons should always be ruled out before concluding CTS is responsible for a patient.s symptoms. Shaking or moving the fingers may ease this numbness and pain associated with CTS. Ice and rest often relieves the symptoms in minor cases. Ultimately, if the patient can not function with CTS, a surgical consult is appropriate.
Conclusion, is there ever really just one? If you develop CTS symptoms, try rest first. This may mean spending a bit less time typing on the computer, knitting, or woodworking.