Most of us use our hands a considerable amount when working. Therefore, they are particularly prone to injury. Whether the injury is from an accident or repetitive motion, if it is directly related to your work, you have the basis for a workers’ compensation claim. Broken bones are one thing, but there are many work related injuries that are related to nerves. Nerve injuries require a significantly greater period of time to recover from than broken bones. Some common nerve injuries in the upper extremities will be discussed in this blog.
Brachial plexus and thoracic outlet syndrome involve nerves that start in the spine and travel to the arms. An injury at its starting point is a brachial plexus injury. Once the nerves have passed through the collar bone, the injury is called thoracic outlet. This type of injury can be caused when you are turning your head and then suffer a trauma to the spine. A good example would be while driving, you turn to check your blind spot and are involved in an accident. The impact of the vehicles is sufficient to cause this type of injury.
Injuries to the elbow joint are also common. Lateral epicondylitis, better known as tennis elbow, is generally the result of overuse. You will notice pain on the outside bump of your elbow that goes into your forearm. This type of nerve injury can be caused by repetitive motion. If you have ever bumped your elbow and felt a tingling down your arm to your hand, you have injured the ulnar nerve. If the tingling does not go away in a few minutes you may have developed an ulnar nerve entrapment. A direct trauma to the elbow, like in a fall, or repetitive use of a hand tool that require excessive bending of the elbow may cause this type of injury. With this injury you, will feel pain in the ring and pinky fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome are nerve injuries that affect the hand. The difference is that the median nerve is affected with carpal tunnel syndrome and the ulna nerve is affected with cubital tunnel syndrome. In either case, these injuries can be caused by direct trauma, for example if you grip the steering wheel to brace for impact in a motor vehicle accident or trip and land on your outstretched hand, or by repetitive use such as typing on a keyboard or adding machine.
If you have suffered in accident or injury at work, or believe that you have a nerve injury due to repetitive use, please call our experienced legal team at Stark & Stark, PC to schedule your free consultation today.