In the past several decades there has been a rise in workplace injuries related to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In 2010 a study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 3.1 percent of employed adults suffered from CTS. This injury occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist resulting in numbness, weakness and even pain in the wrist, hand, arm or elbow. Studies have shown that CTS is prevalent among those who work includes repetitive hand movement and is a fairly common office injury. If not treated CTS can become debilitating and lead to nerve damage. Thankfully, there are several treatments and methods to avoid this outcome.
Conventional Non-Surgical Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are many non-surgical options to ease or cure the pain of CTS. Many are simple and can be purchased over the counter.
- Wrist Splinting: Those who suffer from CTS can purchase a simple wrist brace from any convenience or drug store. If the CTS is moderate, wearing it during the night can relieve pressure on the median nerve. If the CTS is aggressive the sufferer can wear the brace during the day while performing the task that aggravates the injury.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Using over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or Advil can ease the inflammation caused by CTS. If the pain is particularly severe a doctor can prescribe something a stronger medication.
- Corticosteroids: This is a simple injection from a doctor which helps to ease inflammation and swelling. It is injected in the aggravated area.
- Stretches and Breaks: The simplest thing to do is to take regular breaks from the activity which aggravates the CTS. During such breaks stretching the hand, wrist and arms can relieve the tension around the nerve.
Surgical Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In some cases, non-surgical options are enough to eliminate the pain caused by CTS. In those instances, surgery is an option to consider. There are two popular surgeries offered to individuals ailing from CTS.
- Open Release Surgery: It is a simple surgery that cuts some ligament in the wrist to enlarge the carpal tunnel.
- Endoscopic Surgery: The surgeon makes two small incisions and uses a camera to view the nerve, ligament, and tendons. Then they make a small cut to the carpal ligament with a knife.
Contact a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
In certain situations, carpal tunnel syndrome can be considered a work-related injury and an employee can seek compensation from their employer. A caring workers compensation lawyer, like from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt, can help you determine whether your CTS could be considered work-related injury. For an initial consultation, you can contact a law firm today.