Do You Have a Case for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in New Jersey?

July 19, 2023
by We can Help Law

The Median Nerve in The Wrist is Compressed, Which Results in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Where the Hand and Fingers May Experience Pain, Numbness, And Tingling

Do You Have a Case for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in New Jersey?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from your elbow to your wrist, passes through the carpal tunnel and becomes compressed. The carpal tunnel comprises carpal bones at the bottom of the wrist near the forearm and the transverse carpal ligament, which runs across the top of the wrist, minimizing the volume of the carpal tunnel itself. The median nerve begins at the neck and travels down the arm, elbow, and forearm, passing through the carpal tunnel and separating into tiny nerves in the palm and fingers. The median nerve sends sensations and controls motor functions of the thumb and three middle fingers. Pain and numbness can occur when the median nerve is inflamed or compressed extensively.

Understanding the Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in NJ

A person with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience numbness in their hands and fingers. Sometimes the numbness moves up to the elbow. They can feel tingling or burning in the hand or a kind of shock that seems to zap through their fingers. A weakened grip and a stinging sensation up the arm are other symptoms.

Another identifying symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is that the symptoms worsen at night. When you sleep, the blood flow to your extremities lessens and is sent to circulate to your vital organs. Also, when you are resting horizontally, the fluids in your extremities are redistributed, and this can cause the median nerve to be more sensitive.

Doctor’s Approaches to Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A thorough general medical exam is usually done first; the doctor will take down your medical history. They will examine your hand and wrist by pressing and tapping on your wrist. This is called Tinel’s test, and it involves tapping exactly where the median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel. A positive result would be numbness, a burning sensation, or a tingling sensation.

Phalen’s test is conducted by completely flexing the wrist by putting the backs of your hands in front of you, wrists bent forward (as if you were drying your nail polish), and ninety degrees. A positive result elicits numbness, pain, burning, or tingling.

Nerve conduction studies are highly accurate in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. A gentle electric current is transmitted through an electrode on one side of the median nerve. In contrast, receptor electrodes are placed on the other side to demonstrate the efficacy of the signals moving through the carpal tunnel.

The doctor may have you close your eyes as they test the sensitivity in your fingers and hand with a pointed instrument. They will check your grip for weakness and see if your thumb muscles are unusually small or atrophied.

Your doctor may order further testing, such as an ultrasound for nerve compression, an X-ray for arthritis or hairline fractures, or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to examine the soft tissue in your hand, wrist, and arm.

Occupations with High Incidence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Jobs in manufacturing where workers complete repetitive movements on assembly lines, packaging goods, or working in a warehouse can irritate the median nerve. Construction jobs, such as those that use heavy equipment, tools that vibrate, and those that use their hands to grab, hold, or build, such as electricians, carpenters, and plumbers, may need help after several years on the job. Hairstylists and estheticians have to grip their tools or flex their hands repeatedly when cutting hair or using a straightener. Chefs, waiters, bartenders, and others in the fast-paced food industry are hard on their wrists and can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Those who work with computers, such as writers, programmers, receptionists, and the hundreds of other professions that require hours at the keyboard, may get carpal tunnel due to the repetitive motion of their fingers.

Other activities that can cause carpal tunnel are driving, sewing, knitting, embroidering, painting, sculpting, and sports such as volleyball, archery, tennis, baseball, badminton, and table tennis.

Some people are more likely to get carpal tunnel based on their physiology alone. People who are obese, diabetic, have arthritis, are experiencing menopause, pregnancy, thyroid disorders, kidney problems, or fluid retention are more susceptible. Also, 70% of carpal tunnel sufferers are women. This is due, in part, to having smaller wrists than men.

Helpful Tips to Reduce the Risk of Carpal Tunnel Injuries

There is no such thing as a sure thing, but there are precautions you can take that will, at the very least, minimize the odds of your getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Get an ergonomic mouse and mousepad if you use your computer for more than a few hours daily. Also, strike the keys softly. This isn’t your Aunt Millie’s ribbon typewriter. Keep your posture straight when sitting at your desk. Poor posture can compress your nerves from the neck down. Set up your keyboard so it is even with your elbows.

Whatever line of work you are in, if you use your hands all day, take frequent breaks. Just a few minutes of stretching your hands and wrists every hour can make a big difference. Remember to take a break if you must apply a lot of force with your hands or use special equipment that vibrates.

Relieving the Pain: Effective Ways to Treat Carpal Tunnel

Seeking Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Injuries in Monmouth County NJ

Non Invasive Treatments

Treatment options range from non-invasive to surgery, depending on the severity of the injury. Non-invasive treatments include wearing a brace or splint for a few months until the inflammation decreases, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and modifying the activities that exacerbate your condition with better posture. A monthly steroid injection may reduce pain and numbness. Some people find relief by doing exercises that help the median nerve move with smoother agility within the carpal tunnel. Speak with your physician or physical therapist to determine what might work for you.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical options are usually reserved for the most severe cases where alternative treatments have been unsuccessful, or the condition is too painful for other treatment options. One surgical technique is called carpal tunnel release. It relieves pressure off the median nerve by severing the transverse carpal ligament to increase the size of the tunnel, thusly reducing the amount of pressure placed on the median nerve. Another type of surgery is the open carpal tunnel release. The transverse carpal ligament is divided, giving the tunnel more space and causing less pressure on the median nerve. The procedure is done by making a small incision in the palm. Finally, the endoscopic carpal tunnel release is the same procedure as the open carpal tunnel release, but an endoscope (internal camera) is used to see inside your hand and wrist.

These surgeries can be done with local or general anesthesia, although some doctors use “twilight anesthesia because you are awake but unaware of what is happening. Recovery times range from six weeks to several months, depending on your original condition.

Workers’ Compensation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Due to Job-Related Activities in NJ

It is essential to disclose your carpal tunnel injury to your employer as soon as it happens. Your employer will send you to their doctor from their insurance company to determine the severity of your injury. If it is proven related to your job, you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. Your benefits include medical costs and lost wages. Medical expenses include transportation to and from medical visits, medication, physical therapy, and surgery.

Your benefits may be temporary or permanent, depending on the outcome of your treatment. If granted temporary disability, you will receive a portion of your average weekly pay (up to 70% depending on the disability) or permanent disability if you cannot return to work completely.

Consult Freehold Carpal Tunnel Injury Lawyers to Determine if You Have a Claim

At our personal injury firm, our top priority is our clients in Holmdel, Eatontown, Neptune, Spring Lake, Long Branch, Belmar, Freehold, Asbury Park, Manasquan, Red Bank, and communities in Monmouth County and Ocean County, NJ. Our years of experience with workers’ compensation and personal injury cases make us the top in our field. Just because you fill out all the paperwork or file a claim does not guarantee fair compensation. We have the resources necessary to secure a fair result for you. 

If you or someone you know is applying for workers’ compensation due to carpal tunnel syndrome, or you suffered carpal tunnel injuries resulting from an accident in New Jersey, we are ready to create a plan that will provide you with the best possible result. Our seasoned injury attorneys have a profound knowledge of workers’ compensation, personal injury litigation, and the vast complexities in this realm of NJ law. Call us today at (732) 303-7857 or complete our online contact form. Complimentary consultations are available anytime.