Carpal Tunnel Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects one to three out of every 1,000 persons annually. Though this may seem like a small number, in truth, there may be as many as 15 million Americans suffering from CTS.
The NIH defines carpal tunnel syndrome as “a common neurological disorder that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from your forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist.” Many people equate CTS with working at a keyboard all day using your fingers, hands, and wrists. The repetitive motion can result in the development of CTS.
Data entry and other computer-based work is not the only potential cause of CTS. Any type of work or activity that requires repetitive motion involving the wrists and hands can lead to the disorder. Even ringing up a cash register all day, or stocking shelves in a retail establishment, can result in CTS over time.
If you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome from your job in Wichita or anywhere else in Kansas, and you wish to submit a workers compensation claim—or you have made a claim and it’s been stalled or denied—contact us at Slape & Howard.
Our workers compensation attorneys will help you prepare the evidence needed to support your claim and launch an appeal if necessary. We proudly serve clients throughout Kansas, so reach out immediately.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & How Do You Know You Have It?
CTS typically results when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed. This pressing or squeezing on the nerve tunnel makes the canal smaller. This, in turn, results in irritation of the nerve, which controls the movement of the thumb and the first three fingers on your hand. The condition is generally painful and progressive. If untreated, it gets worse over time.
Symptoms that can indicate you have or are developing CTS include:
Shock-like sensations in the thumb, ring, index, and middle fingers.
Numbness, burning, tingling, or pain in the thumb and fingers.
Pain or tingling sensations running from your forearm to your shoulder.
Weakness in the hand that affects fine motor skills, even in tasks such as buttoning a shirt or blouse.
Loss of coordination and the dropping of items because of weakness or numbness.
Which Jobs Are Particularly Susceptible to Developing CTS?
On the job, carpal tunnel syndrome generally is the result of repetitive stress. Entering data on a keyboard all day is repetitive and can produce stress, but so can even operating a switchboard and answering the phone repeatedly in your line of work. Other jobs that can result in CTS include:
Assembly line work that involved repeated motions.
Pushing, slicing, or applying pressure (a kitchen worker who slices food all day, for instance).
Construction tasks such as using a jackhammer or a chainsaw.
Driving a motor vehicle.
Using a cash register or even stocking shelves or refrigerators.
Making a Workers Compensation Claim for CTS
If you develop carpal tunnel syndrome from your required duties at work, workers compensation insurance should cover your medical expenses and any time lost from work, right? However, this is not always the case. In Kansas, due to reforms in the system starting in 2011 with the Kansas Workers Compensation Act (KWCA), insurers generally have gained the upper hand.
If you make a claim for benefits for what you say is job-related CTS, the insurer is likely to question whether your condition actually developed from work activities. CTS can also develop from arthritis and diabetes. The insurer may also question whether activities outside of work— such as playing tennis, being a pianist or other musician, or frequently carrying a young infant— actually brought on the disorder.
Carpal Tunnel Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
At Slape & Howard, we have been pushing for reforms to the workers compensation system throughout Kansas since the 2011 KWCA made it much more difficult to successfully file a claim for benefits. If you’re running into obstacles making a claim for carpal tunnel syndrome, reach out to us. We know how the system works and we can help you strategize a path forward. Located in Wichita, Slape & Howard proudly serves clients throughout the entire state.