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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Repetitive work involving the hands and wrist, such as typing and assembly line work, is often the cause of one of the most debilitating injuries, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal tunnel occurs when there is a compression and irritation of the median nerve in the wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often caused by the use of fingers and hands in a repetitive motion for extended periods of time. For example, carpal tunnel can occur when doing repetitive assembly line work and from typing on the computer as part of the job. Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel include tingling and numbness in the hand, pain in the wrist, loss of coordination and a weakening of the grip. When this type of injury occurs, it is often impossible to return to the same type of work because of the high risk of re-injury or worsening of the condition. Treatment for carpal tunnel includes rest, immobilization of the wrist in a splint, and the application of ice. In the most severe cases, surgery involving the severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve is performed. This surgical procedure is called “carpal tunnel release.”
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Similar to carpal tunnel, this injury occurs in the elbow instead of the hand. This occurs when the ulnar nerve at the elbow is compressed. The ulnar nerve is the largest unprotected nerve (unprotected by bone or muscle) in the human body, which is why this type of injury is common. Symptoms include numbness and pain from the elbow to the hand, numbness, tingling or cramping in the small finger and the ring finger, and pain over the inside edge of the elbow. This can be the result of repetitive bending and straightening the elbow, holding the elbow bent for long periods of time, performing tasks which resist straightening of the elbow (for example shoveling or pushing open heavy doors), using tools which vibrate (such as a jackhammer), and leaning on the inside edge of the elbow or forearm against a desk or edge. Rest is often helpful for providing temporary relief; however, it is unlikely to provide a long-term solution. Physical therapy is sometimes an effective treatment while the more severe cases will require surgery, called a “cubital tunnel release.”
Contact John F. Renner when you or a loved one need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Additional Elbow, Wrist and Hand Injury Resources> Arm Wrist & Hand Injury Flow Chart
> American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons - Hand Injury Information
> Mayo Clinic - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information
> WebMD - Finger, Hand and Wrist Injury Prevention Information
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