Compensation for occupational CTS in Arizona
Many jobs and professions in today’s modern world make workers more susceptible to an occupational (work-related) injury known as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This type of injury is primarily caused by repetitive motion which brings about permanent damage to the wrists and hands. As the median nerve in the wrist compresses during repetitive movement, everything from work-related functions to personal daily tasks become unbearably painful.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may start with a noticeable tingling in the wrist and fingers. In time your hands, wrists and arms can feel numb to the touch. An uncomfortable burning sensation may be present, in addition to a gradually disabling loss of strength in the hands and fingers.
Though people across many different industries suffer from CTS, occupations that are most commonly affected by carpal tunnel syndrome typically include:
- Construction workers who use repetitive motion tools like jackhammers
- Information entry specialists including administrative assistants, accountants and software engineers
- Retail clerks who use computerized registers or must pack multiple orders quickly
- Manufacturing assembly line laborers and factory workers
- House painters who use repeated brush strokes or movements with paint rollers
- Those who use heavy machinery on the job
Carpal tunnel syndrome next steps and treatments
Due to the fact that symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often appear gradually, injured workers may not be aware of their condition immediately. If you believe that you have been affected by carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive motions required on the job, do not wait until your condition considerably worsens.
Notify your on-site supervisor or human resources representative of your concerns. Make sure that your employer is aware that you believe your hand, wrist and arm injuries are work-related and not due to personal activities or sports.
Seek professional medical attention immediately. Ultimately your physician will recommend a treatment plan which may include rest, prescription drugs and physical or occupational therapy. Depending upon the severity of your symptoms, you may be advised to seek a second opinion before undertaking a long-term course of treatment, which can include surgery.
Notable treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome patients include:
- Topical treatments. These are used to relieve the temporary stiffness and pain, primarily in the early stages of the injury. A physician can prescribe a “corticosteroid” cream, ointment or lotion. Mild over-the-counter versions can also provide moderate forms of short-term relief.
- Surgery. When lesser treatments are not able to relieve pain and restore full movement, surgical treatment may be the answer. This type of medical procedure is known as “carpal tunnel release surgery” and is performed by an orthopedic surgeon. Depending upon the severity of the situation, patients may be scheduled for either in-patient surgery at a hospital or out-patient surgery at a freestanding surgery center.
- Immobilization devices. This usually refers to splints worn on the wrist and lower arm. By controlling the movement of the wrist, further irritation of the median nerve is reduced. Patients may wear an immobilization device while additionally using a topical pain reliever.
- Therapy. Professional physical and occupational therapy may be prescribed to help patients regain full use of their fingers, hands, wrists and arms. A patient may also be instructed to do exercises on their own to continue their progress. Forms of therapy usually include hydrotherapy, yoga movements and magnetic bracelet aids.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
Can you get workers’ compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome in Arizona?
Under the statute of limitations set forth by the state of Arizona, you must file for workers’ compensation within 1 year of the date of your injury. With a gradual injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, this becomes additionally difficult.
Employers often try to deny claims from their employees. Much of this is based on the fact that they are unwilling to acknowledge that the debilitating effects of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by work-related tasks. This is why notifying your employer and seeking immediate medical services is imperative to resolving your claim.
Seek legal representation whenever possible
Reading and interpreting state compensation regulations is something best left to a legal professional.
Reach out to the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski today to schedule an appointment or request a call from our well-trained team of lawyers. With our legal expertise on your side, you can rest easy knowing that we’re passionate about securing the best possible outcome in your case.